Public Health Unit
The Townsville Public Health Unit (TPHU) coordinates and supports national, statewide and local public health responses, as well as undertaking health surveillance and disease-control initiatives. The unit focuses on the health and wellbeing of populations, as opposed to individuals, with key objectives being protecting public health and preventing disease and illness.
The public health team play a key role during local natural disaster response and recovery efforts, mounting community education campaigns as well as disease and outbreak identification and surveillance.
TPHU has four main work units:
Communicable Disease Control (CDC): protects the health of the community by surveilling and responding to notifiable disease threats, for example: measles and meningococcal disease. The team also provides immunisation advice and support, including the school-based vaccination program.
Environmental Health (EH): protects the health of the community by monitoring food and water safety. Additionally, EH has oversight of safe use and storage of medicines and poisons. In association with our stakeholders, EH monitors environmental hazards such as lead. The team responds to environmental incidents such as potential toxic spills.
Vector Control: develops mosquito control programs with a focus on the Aedes aegypti mosquito which is responsible for Dengue fever and Zika transmission. The team responds rapidly to imported cases of Dengue, Zika or malaria to prevent community spread. TPHU have been actively involved in the World Mosquito Program’s Dengue elimination efforts using Wolbachia.
Health Promotion and Support: health promotion, epidemiology and administrative support for the core teams and various short-to-medium term projects in response to local emerging needs.
TPHU works closely with several external organisations including other health services, government departments, local government, non-government agencies, research institutions and local communities, as well as teams within the HHS. These close partnerships ensure that the team is prepared to respond to future public health challenges. TPHU’s catchment extends south to Mackay, west to Mount Isa, east to Palm Island and North to Cardwell.