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Pacific Paramedical Training Centre

Pacific Paramedical Training Centre

The Pacific Paramedical Training Centre (PPTC) is a not-for-profit organisation located at Wellington Hospital in New Zealand. Established it 1980, it aims to provide training and assistance in the medical laboratory sciences. This includes development assistance for clinics and laboratories across South East Asia and the Pacific.

POLHN works with PPTC to offer a two year, part-time Diploma in Medical Laboratory Science. This can be undertaken in full via distance learning.

About the Diploma

The Diploma in Medical Laboratory Science consists of six modules. Three are completed in the first year and three in the second.

The modules offered within the Diploma are:

  • Laboratory Technology;
  • Haematology;
  • Biochemistry;
  • Microbiology;
  • Transfusion science; and
  • Laboratory quality management system.

These courses cover the basic theoretical and practical principles of laboratory science, focusing on “the how and the why”. Each module is separated into six sections, which are assessed through multiple choice questionnaires that are sent to PPTC for marking. There is also a log book for students to complete.

Please note that the exact dates for the modules vary from year to year. Check the PPTC website for current information, or contact your POLHN focal point.

 

How to apply

In order to be eligible for POLHN sponsorship for PPTC courses, students must make online applications. Only students with satisfactory performance will be able to continue with sponsorship. For more information, see the document on PPTC Selection Criteria for POLHN Courses.

The application process for POLHN sponsorship of PPTC courses is as follows:

  1. Each module, applicant completes the POLHN application form
  2. Applicant emails the form to pptc@pptc.org.nz, CC. info@polhn.org
  3. PPTC vets the applications
  4. PPTC send the proposed candidate list to the POLHN Secretariat Office
  5. POLHN sends the vetted list to the relevant Ministry of Health, POLHN focal point and WHO country offices for endorsement at the national level
  6. POLHN supports endorsed students

If you have any queries or concerns about the application process, please contact your POLHN focal point.

Links and documents

POLHN application form

PPTC Selection Criteria for POLHN Courses

PPTC website

PPTC: Diploma in Medical Laboratory Science

Penn Foster Dental School

Penn Foster Dental School

Penn Foster Dental School is an American-based college. In association with the Pacific Basic Dental Association (PBDA), POLHN has partnered with Penn Foster Dental School to offer sponsorship of its Dental Assistant Career Diploma. 

About the diploma

The Penn Foster Dental Assistant Career Diploma is delivered online via distance learning. POLHN sponsors tuition for dental assistants in the Pacific to undertake this course, and holds regular teleconferences to monitor their learning progress.Upon completion of this diploma, students will be able to:
  • Assist dentists with lab tasks and procedures;
  • Communicate with and instruct patients in proper dental hygiene;
  • Disinfect dental tools properly; and
  • Manage a dental office.
The delivery of this course involves nine modules, which take nine months to complete. After external assessment and validation by PBDA, formal certificates are awarded to successful candidates. 

Application process

To apply for sponsorship for Penn Foster dental courses, applicants must be currently working as a dental assistant in either: Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Palau, American Samoa or the Marshall Islands.In order to get sponsorship, applicants must be nominated by their Ministry of Health. Their applications will then go through a vetting process through their WHO country office and the POLHN Secretariat.Once students successfully complete the Penn Foster Dental Assistant Career Diploma, they can undertake external examination by Fiji National University. This involves sitting an exam, the cost of which is borne by POLHN. If they successfully pass, students can then apply for further dental qualifications – including a Bachelor’s degree – from Fiji National University

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Penn Foster: Dental Assistant Career Diploma

FNU Sponsorship

FNU Sponsorship

SEMESTER 2, 2018 SPONSORSHIP APPLICATIONS ARE OPEN FROM 23 JUNE TO 6 JULY

 

The POLHN sponsorship scheme is a unique opportunity for health care professionals to have their postgraduate education fully funded. Its key partner in this is Fiji National University (FNU). Since 2005, POLHN has partnered with FNU to offer sponsorship for online courses through its School of Public Health.

Each semester, POLHN sponsors approximately 100 staff from Pacific ministries of health to take instructor-led postgraduate courses. Postgraduate certificates, diplomas and masters programmes are all available. These can be completed without students leaving their communities.

 

Which certificates?

POLHN sponsors courses in the following:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Epidemiology;
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Epidemiology;
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Health Research;
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Health Research;
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Health Service Management;
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Health Service Management;
  • Master in Health Service Management;
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Public Health;
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health; and
  • Master in Public Health

For more detail on which units are available within these programmes, have a look at the document on POLHN-sponsored FNU units 2017.

 

Who is eligible?

In order to qualify for sponsorship for FNU courses, you must:

  • Be a citizen and current resident of a Pacific island country; and
  • Be a permanent or full time employee of a Pacific island country Ministry of Health; and
  • Have a Bachelor's degree or diploma with at least five years work experience with the Ministry of Health.

 

Process

Enrolment is usually open for two months, check the POLHN website or Facebook page for dates. Please note that POLHN will only sponsor one unit per semester, per candidate. Students are welcome to take another unit privately.

Students must apply for sponsorship every semester. As such, the application process varies somewhat between new and continuing students.

 

For new students

  1. Applicant completes the POLHN application form and the FNU application form.
  2. Applicant submits forms along with the following relevant supporting documents, including:
    • Birth certificate;
    • Marriage certificate (where applicable for change of name);
    • Certified copies of tertiary qualification results (if applicable);
    • Secondary school qualification results;
    • Two passport size photos;
    • Letters from employers (if applicable); and
    • Approved sponsorship letter (if applicable.
  3. Applicant emails scanned application to to mere.diloi@fnu.ac.fj, CC. info@polhn.org
  4. FNU vets applicants based on academics (at this point successful Fijians will need to send FNU a support letter from their National Learning and Development Committee) 
  5. FNU sends the list to the POLHN Secretariat Office 
  6. POLHN sends the vetted lists to the Ministry of Health, the POLHN focal point and WHO country office for endorsement at the national level
  7. POLHN compiles an endorsed student list and sends this list to the FNU.

 

 

For continuing students

  1. Student  completes the POLHN application form (each semester).
  2. Student emails scanned application to to mere.diloi@fnu.ac.fj, CC. info@polhn.org
  3. Student enrolls through the FNU online enrolment platform (click here) when it is open (for semester 2, 2017, this is from 1 to 14 July).
  4. For grades of “B” and above, the student list will come directly to the POLHN office. For grades of “C” and below, students will be put on a waiting list (at this point successful Fijians will need to send FNU a support letter from their National Learning and Development Committee). 
  5. POLHN sends the approved list to the Ministry of Health, POLHN focal point and WHO country office for endorsement at the national level
  6. POLHN compiles an endorsed student list and sends this list to FNU

 

POLHN also offers sponsorship for courses from the Pacific Paramedical Training Centre (PPTC) and Penn Foster Dental School. For more information on these, visit our page on Applying for Sponsorship.

 

Links and documents

Opportunities in Samoa

Opportunities in Samoa

Opportunities in Samoa

The National University of Samoa is the primary centre for tertiary education in Samoa. It has a wide variety of undergraduate and postgraduate programs offered by its various faculties, including the Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Applied Science and Faculty of Education. It also has a centre for continuing education, known as the Oloamanu Centre for Professional Development and Continuing Education. This offers teaching programs and vocational certificates in cooperation with the Faculty of Applied Science.Additionally, the University of the South Pacific (USP) offers opportunities for post-secondary education in Samoa. It has its Alafua Campus in Apia, where its School of Agriculture and Institute for Research, Extension and Training in Agriculture is located. Students can also undertake diplomas, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees there in a variety of fields, via distance learning.There is also a private university in Samoa called the Oceania University of Medicine. It is currently in the process of transitioning from private management to the public sector. 

Continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities

Because of its remoteness, an ideal option for CPD in Samoa is to undertake distance learning. POLHN is an ideal platform for this, with courses targeted specifically at health professionals from the Pacific Islands. If students are unable to access the internet, courses can be completed via CD or at a learning centre. There is a POLHN learning centre located at Motootua Hospial in Apia. For further information on POLHN in Samoa, please contact Vaelei Apulu Ioasa (email here).Scholarships to study abroad are also an ideal opportunity for Samoans seeking CPD opportunities. The Australia Awards are one of the leading scholarships of this kind. Funded by the Australian Government, they offer the opportunity for Samoans to study at universities abroad through one of two programs: the Australia Awards Pacific Scholarships and the Australia Awards Leadership Program. The Pacific Scholarships are for study at institutions in the Pacific region, while the Leadership Program provides scholarships for postgraduate study in Australia. Both programs are available to Samoans, and 50 scholarships were awarded last year. For more information, visit the Australia Awards website

See more

Government of Samoa: Mootootua HospitalThe National University of SamoaSamoa Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture

Tonga: Health and Education

Tonga: Health and Education

Opportunities in Tonga

The majority of post-secondary education in Tonga is conducted overseas, however, there exist a number of facilities in Tonga. These include nursing and medical training and agricultural schools, the University of the South Pacific (USP), and some private institutions. These higher education centres include the ‘Atenisi Institute, which focuses on science and humanities, and the Tonga Institute of Science and Technology.USP’s Tonga campus is located at ‘Atele, about seven kilometres from Nuku’alofa. The campus also has centres in Vava’u and Ha’apai. Health-related courses can be undertaken there in person or via distance, with lecture recordings available from USP campuses across the Pacific. 

Continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities

Due to its isolation, distance learning is an ideal way for health care professionals in Tonga to further their professional development. An ideal way to do this is through POLHN, which offers health-related courses targeted at professionals in the South Pacific. These can be undertaken online, using a CD or in person at a POLHN Learning Centre. There are three of these located in Tonga: at the School of Nursing, Vava’u Hospital, and at Vaiola Hospital. For more information on POLHN in Tonga, contact Ms Simaima Filiai (email here).Another option for furthering education is through the Australia Awards. Funded by the Australian Government, this program offers tertiary-level scholarships for Tongan students, particularly in the field of education, health, and public sector management. These fund students to study at universities in Australia. Typically, around 20 of these are offered to Tongan students every year. For more information, visit the Australia Awards website. 

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‘Atenisi Institute Tonga Institute of Science and TechnologyTongan Ministry of Education and TrainingTongan Ministry of HealthUniversity of the South Pacific: Tonga Campus

Vanuatu: Health and Education

Vanuatu: Health and Education

Opportunities in Vanuatu

Port Vila has one public hospital and one private hospital. Other health centre locations include Luganville, Norsup and Lolowai.The University of the South Pacific (USP) has four campuses in Vanuatu: Santo, Tafea, Malampa, Torba, and the main Emalus Campus in Port Vila. 

Continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities

Continuing professional development in Vanuatu is necessary to fulfill the requirements for health care professionals' licence renewal.  This can happen through participating in classes and workshops, as well as through distance learning. A number of such courses exist on POLHN, and a number of these (particularly courses from Fiji National University) are approved to give credit toward Ni-Vanuatu licences.POLHN courses can be taken over the internet, offline using a CD, or at a POLHN Learning Centre. These are located in hospitals in Port Vila, Luganville, Norsup and Lolowai. For more information on POLHN in Vanuatu, contact Ms Marina Laklotal (email here).Scholarships to study abroad are also an ideal opportunity for students and professionals from Vanuatu seeking CPD opportunities. The Australia Awards are one of the leading scholarships of this kind. Funded by the Australian Government, they offer the opportunity to study at Australian universities at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. For more information, visit the Australia Awards website

See more

Australia Awards VanuatuUSP Emalus Campus Port VilaVanuatu Ministry of Education and Training

Fiji: Health and Education

Fiji: Health and Education

Opportunities in Fiji

Fiji is home to three universities: Fiji National University (FNU), the University of the South Pacific (USP) and the University of Fiji. All three have their main campus in Fiji.FNU offers graduate and postgraduate degrees in a variety of fields, including medicine, engineering, agriculture, business, and humanities. It also has a National Training and Productivity Centre, where trade-based courses can be undertaken. For furthering health skills and knowledge, the University’s College of Medicine offers a number of postgraduate degrees and diplomas. The College has two campuses in Suva, as well as one in Tamavua and one in Lautoka. For more information on FNU campuses, click here.The University of the South Pacific has campuses in 12 Pacific Island countries, however the campus in Fiji is the largest. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and diplomas in a number of fields, including science, law and business. There are also a variety of opportunities to conduct research at USP, as well as workshops and expos on getting into the workforce.The University of Fiji is based in Lautoka, and is Fiji’s newest tertiary institution. It offers courses up to postgraduate level on topics such as biology, chemistry, communications and accounting. Lautoka is also home to Umanand Prasad School of Medicine (UPSM), which is a private medical school.There are also a number of hospitals in Fiji, both public and private. These are located in all the major cities, including Suva, Nadi, Ba, Lautoka and Sigatoka. For the full list of hospitals and their locations, see here

Continued professional development (CPD) opportunities

In Fiji, it is mandatory for nurses to undertake 20 hours of CPD to renew their licences. This works on a points-based system, where health professionals receive one point for every one hour session they undertake at their workplace. These sessions, known as refresher training, tend to come in the form of lectures and workshops, and are free.Another option is undertaking a distance learning course. There are many available through the POLHN website, which offers sponsored and accredited courses through institutions such as FNU, as well as non-accredited. All are considered refresher training that count toward licence renewal.POLHN courses can be taken over the internet, offline using a CD, or at a POLHN Learning Centre. These are located in hospitals at 15 locations across Fiji. For more information on POLHN in Fiji, contact Ms Shivala Singh>, who is the POLHN Fiji country coordinator ((email here).You can also contact the relevant POLHN focal point for a specific region within Fiji: Besides POLHN, there are many other distance courses available through organisations such as: the Global Health eLearning Center, Medscape Education, Lippincott Nursing Center, and BMJ Learning.

 

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Fiji Ministry of Education, Heritage and ArtsFiji Ministry of HealthFiji National UniversityUniversity of FijiUniversity of the South Pacific

Health and Education

Health and Education

Opportunities in FSM

The main option for post-secondary education in Micronesia is the College of Micronesia-FSM. Its national campus is located in Palikir in Pohnpei, however it also has a campus in each state. It also encompasses the FSM Fisheries and Maritime Institute in Yap. Courses are offered in subjects such as natural sciences, ethics and business administration.

Currently, there is a public hospital located in each of the FSM’s four states.

 

Continued professional development (CPD) opportunities

Due to its isolation and wide spread, distance learning is the best option for CPD in Micronesia. One such platform is POLHN, which has a variety of opportunities in the form of self-paced courses as well as sponsored degrees from institutions such as the University of the South Pacific and Fiji National University. Courses are targeted specifically at Pacific Island countries, offering relevant knowledge in areas such as mental health, diabetes, and salt reduction.

If students do not have access to the internet, courses can also be undertaken using a CD or at a POLHN learning centre. These are fitted out with desks, computers and printers specifically for health professionals undertaking CPD. In FSM, there currently exist four POLHN learning centres, one in each of the main hospitals in each state. For more information on POLHN in FSM, contact a focal point:

 

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College of Micronesia-FSM

FSM Government – Department of Education

FSM Government – Department of Health and Social Affairs

Health and Education

Health and Education

Opportunities in the Cook Islands

The main hospital in the Cook Islands is Raratonga Hospital, located in the capital city of Aravua. There is also Aitutaki Hospital, which is a smaller district centre.The University of the South Pacific (USP) has a campus in the Cook Islands, in Tupapa, Raratonga. It offers both undergraduate and Masters degrees in fields such as public health, business administration, small island development and economic policy. 

Continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities

Health professionals seeking to further their skills and knowledge can undertake further studies at the USP Cook Islands campus. The campus also offers distance and internet-based learning, where students can attend lectures via live stream.USP is also a partner of POLHN, which is a dedicated e-learning platform for health professionals in Pacific island countries. Offering courses in subjects such as mental health, kids’ physical activity, and diabetes, this is an ideal way to keep up-to-date with the latest medical knowledge. These courses are specifically targeted at those living in countries such as the Cook Islands, and sponsored degrees are even available. POLHN courses are usually undertaken over the internet, however if access is not possible, students can learn from CDs or in a dedicated POLHN centre.There is one POLHN centre in the Cook Islands, located at Raratonga Centre. It is fitted with facilities such as computers, desks and scanners. For more information on POLHN in the Cook Islands, contact Maru Willie (email here).

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Ministry of Education Cook Islands websiteMinistry of Health Cook Islands websiteUniversity of the South Pacific: Cook Islands campus

American Samoa: Health and Education

American Samoa: Health and Education

Opportunities in American Samoa

American Samoa has one acute care hospital and five primary health care centres. It also has one post-secondary education institution: the American Samoa Community College. Located in Mapusaga near Pago Pago, the College offers associate degrees in a range of fields including liberal arts, science, and teaching. 

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities

Because of its remoteness, American Samoans tend to undertake CPD via distance learning. POLHN is an ideal platform for this, with courses targeted specifically at health professionals from the Pacific Islands. If students are unable to access the internet, courses can be completed via CD or at a learning centre. For further information on POLHN in American Samoa, please contact Jasmay Amataga (email here). 

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American Samoa Community College website