Category Archives: SPEECHES

Address at Smoke Free Launch

Healthy city is a global initiative that is currently been implemented by 1000 cities across the globe. It engages local governments in health development through a process of political commitment, institutional change, capacity-building, partnership-based planning and innovative projects.

The primary goal of the WHO Healthy Cities Network is to put health high on the social, economic and political agenda of city governments.

Health is the business of all sectors, and local governments are in a unique leadership position, with power to protect and promote their citizens’ health and well-being.

Suva was declared a healthy city in 2011, and since then have been partnering with all key stakeholders in implementing activities that sets itself as a platform for addressing NCD.

Tobacco smoke is the leading single cause of death globally and any decision for cessation will increase longevity and quality of life.

This declaration coincides with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) meeting that will be convened in Nadi from Monday next week for all the Asian Pacific region and places Suva City high up on the recognition list among similar cities implementing the same around the globe.

The Tobacco Degree 2010 and the Tobacco Regulation 2012 sets the platform for further enhancing the tobacco free initiatives and provides the opportunity for the MOH to work closely with the Council on the same (Tobacco Free Program).

This is the first of a series of phases in the declaration process, declaring most places in the Suva CBD smoke free which includes (Terry Walk, Ivi Triangle, Handy Craft Centre, Market, Bus Stand, etc).

Consecutive phases will see further work around the construction of smoking booths as a requirement under the current tobacco legislation, and further progressing the initiative to see that Suva City becomes the first ever city in the region to be SMOKE FREE.



Distinguished Participants
Good Morning
I am delighted to be with you all today.
Medical Imaging is an integral part of modern day healthcare delivery. This is more so in the Area of Maternal and Child Health in this day and age.

Fiji Has moved forward dramatically in this area in the last 5 years. With improved quality of ultrasound technology, computerized axial tomography and more recently MRI, Fiji is well equipped to meet the challenges of reducing maternal & Child morbidity and mortality as an international commitment to our MDG’s.

As the World plans ahead towards the Post 2015 Development agenda it is pragmatic to address this topic nationally and to review our gaps and challenges. Strategies for the next 15 years in the Post 2015 Development Agenda are now needed collectively. Socio-Economic development is underpinned on a positive health and educational platform.

Health delivery cannot suffice on just efficient clinical skills alone any more. Technological advances will assist in earlier diagnosis and likewise Clinical/Surgical intervention will optimize outcomes in the area of MCH.

Traditionally when Ultrasound was introduced in Fiji with the support of the Fiji Medical Association fund raising, the scepticism was keen to advise caution. That was also a feature when CT Scans and more recently MRI was introduced by government. Although the steady March on improved technological applications will need its checks and balances we must grow with the technology.

Fiji as the largest Pacific Small Island Development States (PSIDS) has great potential for growth and development in “ Health Tourism”. Not developing our health services is definitely not an option but a deterrent to progressing health care delivery.

The issues of Medical Imaging in Fiji currently is to train and retain our younger technologists and professionals in Imaging services. There is a greater need to address distribution and equity of manpower as we rationalize the workforce ie: with new health facilities being established in the Divisions and subdivisions. This is being undertaken at Ministry of Health.

A greater degree of specialization is in progress with Echocardiography, and the training of technologists in CT Angiography, CT using multi-slicing, MRI techniques and soon Radio-technology. All phases of these processes are in progress with the support of our External partners including the Sahyadri Hospital (Fiji) Group and College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

Any government will need to see efficiency ingrained into service delivery. We cannot see “Wet film” “Chemical” outages and service disruptions.
The system of procurement, distribution and storage remains in your hemisphere. We can address these simple issues at operational level and must stop the blame game with FPBS. Work ethos, professionalism must be addressed at the business end of your AGM.

Also addressing the need for a Structured Continuing Professional Education Programme now is long overdue, under the 2009 Radiation Decree.

In Conclusion

I wish you well for 2014 and trust that your meeting today will add value to your professional life.

Minister for Health – Dr. Neil Sharma



The Vice Chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra
Deputy Vice Chancellor Dr Esther Willams
USP staff and Students
And invited guests

Good afternoon to you all,

I must say that it is indeed encouraging to have the University of the South Pacific on board in this fight against dengue.

By now you all must be aware of the gravity of dengue in our Country. We have recorded a total of 11,356 suspected cases and 13 reported dengue deaths. These figures are alarming and have triggered great concerns.

The Health Ministry has continued to work effectively at addressing the dengue fever outbreak. Our health facilities and staff have been strained through this dengue outbreak but remain undaunted in providing essential health services to the public.

Dengue is transmitted from person to person by the bite of an infected mosquito. We continue to remind the public that there is no cure or specific treatment for dengue fever. It is appropriate to say that “Prevention is better than cure”. Hence the need to destroy dengue mosquito breeding places immediately.

For this reason it is necessary to engage in cleaning up our surroundings by getting rid of any receptacles that contains stagnant water. This includes discarding tryes and drums, apart from the coconut shells, cans, tins, white goods and so forth.

Over the past 2 weeks, the Health Ministry along with Public Service Commission has launched a National Cleanup Campaign to destroy mosquito breeding places. This campaign is ongoing and the Health Ministry remains appreciative of the support received from the Government, government ministry’s, stakeholders, partners and communities.

We have received successful reports of the cleanup from as far as Rotuma and Taveuni apart from the cleanups being conducted within our localities.

Your participation, the University of the South Pacific in this ongoing cleanup campaign shows your commitment and concern in effectively and actively participating in the fight against dengue.
We continue to allow dengue cases and deaths to increase because we allow and provide dengue mosquito’s a place to breed.

As a student or lecturer, falling sick with dengue is the last thing you would want to happen. Especially when there is a cost involved, time, resources, fall back from studies, which contribute to the overall performance as a student or lecturer, and ultimately to the University and at large our economy.

It is high time that we all take responsibility in destroying and removing dengue mosquito’s before another loved one falls victim to the dengue virus.

With these words I wish you all a successful and blessed day ahead.

Thank you
Dr. Neil Sharma – Minister for Health – Fiji