Problems and prospects for tuberculosis prevention and care in the Pacific Islands

Date & time

12.30–1.30pm 23 April 2015


Bob Douglas Lecture Theatre, NCEPH


Kerri Viney. NCEPH


 Matthew Kelly

Kerri Viney is a Research Fellow at Australian National University (ANU), working on the Master of Philosophy in Applied Epidemiology programme. She is also a PhD scholar at ANU, and is in the final stages of writing up her PhD.
Prior to joining ANU in February 2014, Kerri worked for the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, as a Tuberculosis (TB) Adviser. SPC is a Pacific regional organisation, based in New Caledonia. In this role she worked with Ministries of Health in the Pacific on all aspects of the Stop TB Strategy. Her PhD research relates closely to this former body of work and is concerned with the programmatic management of TB in the Pacific. Her research interests include public health aspects of TB prevention and care, the association between TB and diabetes, operational research capacity building and the health of Pacific Island populations.


In this lecture Kerri will present an overview of the research in her PhD. Her research aims to improve the capacity for TB control in the Pacific Islands region, using operational research. The research begins with an account of the epidemiological, programmatic, socio-cultural and historical features of TB in the 22 countries of the vast Pacific Islands region. The research then addresses specific problems for TB prevention and care, reporting original field research and reviewing program data and policy.

The original research includes seven studies covering various aspects of TB prevention and care in the Pacific Islands region, including: descriptive epidemiology and temporal trends, the use of sputum tests for TB diagnosis, the association between TB and diabetes, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of traditional healers and TB patients towards TB, the barriers of TB programme implementation in outer islands and insensitive program language.

The presentation will focus on two of these studies in particular: the association between TB and diabetes study conducted in Kiribati and a study on the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of TB patients and traditional healers towards TB conducted in Vanuatu.

During the presentation Kerri will highlight the strengths and limitations of her research, and will outline the research outputs from the thesis. Finally, the policy recommendations arising and public health implications will be discussed.

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