September 26, 2022 (Honolulu, HI) – The Pacific Island Health Officers’ Association (PIHOA) is partnering with the Republic of Palau’s Ministry of Health and Human Services (MHHS) to help reduce the threat of dengue. Funding support is provided by the U.S. Department of State’s cooperative agreement entitled Diminishing Dengue in the Indo-Pacific with Climate Services: Developing Predictive Models Towards a Regional Early Warning System (EWS) Against Dengue and is aligned with the implementation of the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE). The project aims to use climate, demographic, and health variables to generate timely and actionable early warnings about the risk of dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases.

A team of vector professionals from PIHOA, including Dr. Limb Hapairai, Regional Medical Entomologist; Dr. Tomás León, Regional Climate Sciences Consultant; Rosanna Yoon Rabago, Technical Support Consultant, and PIHOA’s Regional Communicable Disease Epidemiologist, Stephanie Kern-Allely, traveled to Palau on September 25, 2022. They will meet with island leaders, Palau MHHS managers, and key stakeholders to provide information on the EWS project implementation, including plans to conduct a community survey, address concerns, and visit potential dengue transmission sites. Meetings will be held with Palau’s Minister of Health and Human Services Gaafar Uherbelau and his team from the Bureau of Public Health, including Director Sherilynn Madraisau, Chief Calvin Johanes of the Division of Environmental Health, Epidemiologist Tmong Udui, and staff from the Vector Surveillance and Control Program. The week-long visit will also include a tour of the Belau National Hospital.

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