Breast cancer cases in Fiji is on the increase because women refuse medical treatment or they do not present themselves early for medical checkups.
This was revealed at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) by Acting Permanent Secretary for Health & Medical Services Dr Meciusela Tuicakau at the launch of the Breast Cancer Awareness Program this morning.
“In 1st world countries, there are nil/ close to zero deaths due to Breast Cancers. However in Fiji there’s 60% mortality because of late detection & presentation to the hospitals”, Dr Tuicakau added.
The current statistics shows that Fiji has 355 cases of breast cancer of which 2% are males and 98% are females while the youngest being 17 years old.
Consultant surgeon at the CWM hospital, Dr Josese Bulitavu said that the escalating breast cancer cases in Fiji is due to the fact that women ignore medical treatment.
“With little or no success people fall back to the medical facilities but they are late. By the time they present to the health facilities, they are in advance stages of the disease which is difficult to contain”, said Dr Bulitavu.
“Breast cancer cases if presented early to the health facilities can be treated and the onus is on people to seek early medical intervention”.
The Assistant Minister for health and Medical services Mrs Veena Bhatnagar launched the pinktober awareness in Suva Last week.
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has declared the month of October for advocacy on breast cancer awareness.
Numerous activities are organised to educate women on early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer .
Health: Antimicrobial resistance important
The Ministry of Health & Medical Services has noted that Fiji faces increasing levels and spread of resistant infections.
This was highlighted this morning by the Hon. Minister for Health & Medical Services Mr Jone Usamate at the 2nd Stakeholder Consultation Workshop on Microbial Resistance.
“The World Health Organization has recognized antimicrobial resistance as a global health threat, which requires a One Health approach”.
“In our Region, it is an increasing problem with some of the world’s highest rates of resistant microorganisms and infections. There is a risk that simple medical procedures such as surgeries will not be possible as infections become untreatable”.
The Health Ministry remains committed to improve health services which will lead to reducing morbidity and mortality.
Patients with resistant infections place a high burden on the health care system requiring additional resources that needs to be addressed.
“In Fiji we are committed to combating antimicrobial resistance and have declared it has one of our priority agendas. We are currently developing our national plan on antimicrobial resistance. This will be the first in the Pacific and hopefully serve as a model to other countries. We are also establishing an AMR task force to oversee the implementation of the plan through a One Health approach”, Mr Usamate said.
Meanwhile the 2 day consultation is being organized the Health Ministry in collaboration with World Health Organization and is being attended by Ministry of Environment, Agriculture, Fisheries, FNU, GP’s, Consumer Council, health staff and Pharmacists.
Advancing Fiji’s health facilities and health technology
The Ministry of Health & Medical Services and Fiji Government has today achieved a milestone with advancing Fiji’s health facilities and health technology through completion of the phase 2 and phase 3 project at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital.
The completed project includes the new 25 bed Intensive Care Unit, Coronary Care Unit, Burns Unit, Neurosurgery operating room, orthopedic operating room, extended and refurbished completed central sterilization and supply department. Apart from this, refurbished completed and fully equipped with the latest and up to date medical equipment valued at $3.89 million Fijian dollars.
The Hon. Minister for Health & Medical Services Mr Jone Usamate today commissioned this completed project.
“Today’s event acknowledges another milestone in the government’s ongoing effort to improve and strengthen health services in our beloved country. Health services and technology continue to develop and advance in the world today. The demand for health services is also rising. As our population increase and becomes more educated and knowledgeable, their expectations for health services also rise”, Mr Usamate said.
Mr Usamate also added that this year, Government has allocated some $46 Million dollars for infrastructural development, unprecedented, to modernize health facilities around the country to a standard that will contribute to the delivery of efficient and effective health services.
This year has seen the commencement of construction of major health facilities in Ba and Nausori to replace the much smaller and now inadequate existing facilities. The construction of the birthing unit in Makoi will commence soon.
Other improvements to health facilities around the country have been completed or nearing completion.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry remains committed to improving health services and health technology around the country.