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Well-known for its landscapes, authentic and welcoming population, the Pacific region is also sadly famous because of the high rate of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). NCDs are today the main cause of death in the Pacific. To help tackle this regional health crisis, the Public Health Division of the Pacific Community (SPC) began the Wake Up project. First launched in 2017 with the financial support of the Australian Department of foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Pacific French Funds, Wake Up aimed to educate youth on NCDs and train them on communication techniques to raise awareness about NCDs in their communities.

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Vanuatu accords high priority to education. Major efforts have been directed towards enhancing educational opportunities, quality and relevance and Open VEMIS (Vanuatu Education Management Information System) is an important tool for effective decision making towards realising these national goals. Informed decision-making in education requires accurate and timely information which shows the relationships between resource inputs to the teaching and learning process and student achievements. Linking Open VEMIS to agencies and institutions in education and other sectors that are engaged in educational activities is therefore important.

Participating in SPC’s review of data usage in the Pacific signals Vanuatu’s belief that information is crucial for informed decisions on planning, policy and programme development, and resource allocation across government.The emerging demands for high-quality and timely information from a wide range of stakeholders have alerted the Ministry to improve its management efforts to meet these demands.Vanuatu has come a long way and according to high level officials in government, the importance of data cannot be over emphasised.

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Health ministers from 20 Pacific island countries and areas convened yesterday in the Cook Islands for the 12th Pacific Health Ministers Meeting. The biennial gathering seeks to reaffirm the importance of the Healthy Islands vision in promoting and protecting the health of the Pacific islands people.

The Healthy Islands vision is to strengthen leadership, governance and accountability; nurture children in body and mind; reduce avoidable disease and premature death; and promote ecological balance. It has served as a unifying theme for health protection and promotion in the Pacific since it was adopted at the first Pacific Health Ministers Meeting on Yanuca Island, Fiji in 1995. It reflects the comprehensive, integrated approach to health that is a hallmark of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Western Pacific Region.

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Sport-Santé” (Health through Sports) is a public health programme designed to encourage physical exercise as a way to control non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The eight-month pilot study in Tahiti allowed doctors to prescribe exercise classes for patients with NCDs (exercise prescriptions). Patients were referred to Maita'i Sport Santé, a network of sports trainers who design appropriate exercises for specific medical conditions.

From 16 to 19 July, the French Polynesian Ministry of Health and Prevention and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport jointly convened a workshop to present the Health through Sports programme along with the pilot study’s outcomes. Participants were health and sports professionals from metropolitan France and the French Pacific Territories. 

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