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Task Force Koa Moana 23 conducts pesticide training in Pohnpei

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Kolonia, Pohnpei- Navy medical officers with Task Force Koa Moana 23 provided training to strengthen Micronesia’s capability to respond to outbreaks of pests that may transmit disease to humans.

The Pohnpei Environmental Protection Agency, Pohnpei Division of Public Health, and FSM National Environmental Health and Food Safety Program also took part in the training from Aug. 7 to 11 in Kolonia, Pohnpei.

In total, 28 participants took part in the training to calculate how much pesticides should be applied to certain areas to help protect the environment in FSM.

They also learned how to protect the health of those applying pesticides while ensuring effective management of insects and rodents that may transmit disease. The training was coordinated through the non-governmental organization, Pacific Island Health Officers Association (PIHOA).

LCDR James Harwood, Entomologist with TF Koa Moana, was one of the lead instructors for the course. “The opportunity for TF Koa Moana to partner with PIHOA greatly improved our ability to support our government partners here in Pohnpei,” said Harwood.

The medical staff conducting the training said they wanted to ensure a clear understanding on the processes, policies, and requirements to apply chemical pesticides and implement integrated pest management programs throughout the communities in Pohnpei. The same training is scheduled to take place in Yap and Kosrae later this year.

“The combination of our efforts resulted in more realistic training scenarios and more relevant information to the Pacific islands being presented,” said Harwood. “It was a great opportunity for us to improve our interoperability and relationships among all our partners.”

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