The Hon. Assistant Minister for Health & Medical Services Mrs Veena Bhatnagar today declared Lautoka City to be Tobacco Free.
Over the years, MOHMS has declared 7 Tobacco Free villages to date, in addition to 42 villages with declared Tobacco Free community halls. All government departments including health facilities such as Hospitals, Health Centers and Nursing Stations are all tobacco-free premises. Also, under the Tobacco Control Decree and Regulation all workplaces to which public have access to and markets are smoke-free zones.
Mrs Bhatnagar said, “I am proud that Lautoka City Council has taken this challenge in launching initiatives in tobacco control efforts to achieve ‘Tobacco Free City’ status.
“Tobacco control requires a multi-sectorial approach with community involvement and support. We must keep in mind that it is not only the Government that has a role in combating tobacco issues, it is also you, me, and our communities that have a role. And I sincerely thank everyone who has contributed to tobacco control efforts in Fiji and also everyone here today for being part of this very important tobacco-free launching”.
The Hon. Assistant Minister for Health & Medical Services Mrs Veena Bhatnagar encouraged people on the importance of maintaining healthy lifestyles while speaking at the TISI Sangam Annual Fire Walking in Navua.
“We must instill proper discipline in our lives which will eventually lead to healthy lifestyles and far away from the burden of diseases”, said Mrs Bhatnagar.
“Most people in Fiji have fallen prey to diseases which are avoidable and are the direct results of unhealthy diets and a lack of physical activity”.
Adhering to health advice on proper nutrition and daily physical activity will contribute towards maintaining good health and as such people will be less vulnerable to the NCDs which have engulfed the nation.
Non Governmental Organizations and business houses have rallied behind the Ministry of Health & Medical Services to address the increasing cases of diabetes in the country.
Minister for Health and Medical Services Hon. Jone Usamate listening to presentations at the congress.
This was confirmed at the Diabetes/Wellness Congress held in Lami last week.
Diabetes and NCDs in Fiji have been on the increase and are almost reaching epidemic levels, with one amputation every twelve hours, which is of great concern to medical professionals and the public alike.
The Hon. Minister for Health & Medical Services Mr Jone Usamate officiating at the congress said that while Government through the Ministry of Health is doing its best to tackle this overwhelming problem, it cannot do it alone.
“We need your support and your novel ideas to tackle the issue together but we must carry them out in an orderly manner”, said Mr Usamate.
“ I understand that this congress is to help organize your well-meaning but isolated activities into a coherent establishment that will allow us all to deliver the much-needed services more efficiently “ he added.
Meanwhile, Diabetes Fiji has been tirelessly assisting patients though its clinical services and public awareness.