FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs

2024 FSM Health Summit Successfully Concludes

Palikir, Pohnpei – April 28, 2024 – The Federated States of Micronesia Department of Health & Social Affairs concluded its 2024 Health Summit held from April 22-26, 2024 in Palikir, Pohnpei. The event brought together leaders from the National and State Governments, program managers and staff, stakeholders, partners, and members from the communities to deliberate on strategies to advancing the nation’s health in 2024 and beyond.

Delivering the keynote address, The Honorable Vice President Aren B. Palik highlighted the healthcare challenges confronting the FSM, emphasizing the shortage of skilled personnel, the need for enhanced professionalism among healthcare practitioners, technological gaps, and the imperative for life-saving treatments to elevate healthcare services. The Vice President underscored the ongoing shortfall of proficient doctors and nurses while acknowledging the current effort of College of Micronesia-FSM in graduating new nurses.  The Vice President also indicated to the audience that as a Nation we “need to do more” if we are to meet the demand for better and more complex healthcare need of the people in the coming days. The Vice President concluded his statement by reaffirming to the 300 plus audience to keep in mind that in everything we do “ unity is our strength and prosperity”, which is also the vision of the Simina-Palik Administration theme.

The five-day Health Summit structured around technical meetings and workshops.  Several thematic areas surfaced from the discussions and summarized in seven categories: (1) Leadership, Governance and Management, (2) Human Resources for Health, (3) Health Service Delivery, (4) Health Information, Planning & Surveillance, (5) Health Through the Life Course, (6) Social and Environmental Determinants of Health, and (7) Health Financing.

Throughout the Health Summit, technical experts from local, regional and international organizations, including representatives from the UN Agencies (WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP, FAO), World Bank, ADB, JICA, SPC, Pacific Island Health Officers Association (PIHOA), Association of State and Territorial Health Organization (ASTHO), COM-FSM and other partners, contributed valuable insights and recommendations to inform the formulation of strategic policies. The Minister of Health and Human Services from the Republic of Palau, the Hon. Gaafar Uherbelau, was also present and provided valuable advice as well as real-life experience from Palau.

The participants adopted universal health coverage for all as the unified vision for the next Framework for Sustainable Health Development in the Federated States of Micronesia: 2024-2034, which was the hallmark of the Summit, and lead to its endorsement by the Chief Executives. Additionally, the following documents were also launched: FSM Early Childhood Development Policy (2024-2028), Nutrition Action Plan (2020-2030), Healthy Eating Guidelines (2023-2027), and National Operational Guidelines on Adolescent and Youth-Friendly Health Services 2024.

As the FSM embarks on this transformative journey towards achieve its goal “Better Health for All”, the momentum generated by the National Health Summit signals a pivotal moment in the nation’s healthcare trajectory.  In closing the Summit on behalf of His Excellency Wesley W. Simina, Secretary Marcus Samo remarked “our Unity is our Strength and Prosperity. We believe in the power and strength of unity.  We believe in leaving no communities behind”. Secretary Samo concluded by saying that the outlook for health development is exciting.  There are opportunities ahead; we need to take bold steps to achieve better health for all.