Regional Health Programme works to create sustainable and healthy islands and better health for the people of the Pacific Islands. The programme has a commitment to facilitate and encourage healthy lifestyles, informed choices and to contribute to the creation of a sound environment to help support the health of the Pacific Islands region and its peoples.
The Health Programme works within an overall strategy called “Sustainable Healthy Islands and People” (SHIP).
Pacific Island communities living healthy lifestyles in sustainable healthy island environments.
To work with Pacific communities, using a community-based approach to facilitate access to appropriate and affordable, quality and sustainable health support within healthy island environments.
There a number of health challenges which the Pacific Islands are currently experiencing. There is a recognizable increase in lifestyle health risks from non-communicable diseases (like malnutrition, diabetes, obesity) and lifestyle influences (such as an increase in stress, sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS). Pacific Island atoll environments are vulnerable to increased health risks from climate change and inadequate waste management. Safe water supplies, sanitation and health risks are in part due to inadequate waste management. The potential impacts of climate change on health include malaria, typhoid, cholera and dengue fever.
There is an increased burden to specific population groups which requires a specific response to address the health risks related to these groups: children (nutrition, diarrhea, respiratory conditions); youth (sexual and reproductive health, stress from unemployment); women (reproductive and maternal health) and for men (reproductive and sexual, health, suicide, violence).
There is an increase in youth populations – up to 50 per cent in some countries – and some regions have more health concerns than others. Research shows that Melanesia has higher infant and child and maternal mortality, Polynesian has higher risks currently from non-communicable diseases, while Micronesia and the atoll communities are isolated and have specific environmental issues to address related to water, sanitation and waste management.
In response to these health challenges the FSPI through its Regional Health Programme and Health Network of member countries have a Regional Health Programme Policy and Strategy.
FSPI has two key areas of focus: Healthy lifestyles consisting of the Youth and Mental Health project, Stepping Stones, Refereeing for Peace and Research on Suicide.