Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM Participates in CDC Risk Communication Workshop for Pandemic Influenza

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Department of Resources & Development): August 14, 2009 - The Federated States of Micronesia joined the other FAS Countries (the Republic of Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands), and other US-affiliated territories (the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana's Islands, the Territory of Guam and American Samoa) in a two day workshop on "Risk Communication on Pandemic Influenza" which was held in Guam from August 4-5, 2009.

The workshop was focused on effective integration of emergency risk and crisis communication planning. It also focused on resources in emergency operational planning for the community, emergency risk, crisis communication concepts, and crisis communication planning and tools.

The workshop was geared to identify the means of successful communication and failure of communication as it applies to the pandemic influenza. The means for achieving successful communication focused on executing a solid communication plan, being the first source for information, expressing empathy early, showing competence and expertise, and remaining honest and open. For communication failures, it was identified that through mixed messages from multiple experts, information being released late, paternalistic attitudes, rumors and myths and public power struggles and confusion, that communication plans can fail.

The workshop started out with an introduction of the participants and presentations of each delegation's H1N1 Communication Plans. FSM was represented by one individual from each State's Department of Health and the FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs sent two delegates. Mr. Arthy Nena, Hospital and Public Health Emergency Preparedness Project Director, presented the FSM's H1N1 Communication Plan. Breakout sessions during the workshop were done for the participants to learn and exchange ideas on the challenges and the problems hindering communications in a situation such as the pandemic influenza. Each jurisdiction then came up with their recommendations for improving the Risk Communication components of their pandemic influenza plans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Team that conducted the workshop included Mr. Matthew Reynolds, Health Communication Specialist Division of Influenza Coordination Unit and Ms. Laura Ross, Health Communications Specialist Division of Strategic National Stockpile.

The workshop was sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Guam Department of Public Health.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356