19 Oct 2010

American Samoa to hold summit on influenza response

4:10 pm on 19 October 2010

The first Samoa Influenza Pandemic Summit being held this week in Pago Pago will bring together health officials from Samoa and American Samoa to map out how to respond to future disease outbreaks.

24 participants from Samoa, led by the CEO of the Ministry of Health Palantina Toelupe, will be attending the summit at the Lee Auditorium in Utulei.

American Samoa's public health emergency preparedness director, Siitia Soliai Lemusu, says the summit's been five years in the making, but they will be able to share what they learnt from last year's H1N1 outbreak.

"This had triggered some interest, more interest in coming together to discuss these issues, especially with the border control policies and procedures on each individual side and how they run."

Before Thursday's opening there will be an exercise to test how fast the American Samoa Health Department can carry out a mass dispensing of medication following an outbreak.