Assistant Health Minister keeps promises made to Bureta Village

The Hon. Assistant Minister for Health & Medical Services Mrs Veena Bhatnagar has been able to successfully address issues raised by Bureta Village, Levuka during her last visit.

Mrs Bhatnagar has visited Bureta Village earlier this year for Health Public Consultation during which the people from Bureta had raised issues on the condition of the road, drainage and water supply.

The Hon. Assistant Health Minister for Health & Medical Services returned to Bureta Village to keep her promise of installing a water tank.

To this effect, Mrs Bhatnagar yesterday officially handed over a 10000 Litre water tank and wheel chair to Bureta Village. This donation was made by the LDS Charity who had also donated wheelchairs to the Levuka Hospital earlier.

Mrs Bhatnagar said she was keen to assist Bureta Village and was identifying ways in which she could assist.

“Upon return to office I was very fortunate to receive a call from LDS church. During our meeting I came to know that LDS did a lot of charity work which includes providing water tanks. I genuinely wanted to help the people of Bureta Village and God had sent the LDS charity right to my door step. There and then LDS promised to assist with the donation of a water tank and here we are to handover this essential donation”.

The Hon. Assistant Health & Medical Services Minister Mrs Veena Bhatnagar had also notified the relevant Ministry on the road condition and drainage issue raised by Bureta Village, which today has been addressed.

Representatives from Bureta Village were humbled and thanked the Hon. Assistant Minister for Health & Medical Services for her timely intervention.

The Health Ministry remains committed to improving and contributing towards improving health services delivery and the overall health of the people of Fiji.

More people fined for breaching tobacco decree

The Tobacco Control Unit of the Ministry of Health and Medical services has booked 45 offenders from 15th – 19th June in the western division for breaching the tobacco control decree.

The enforcement officers mobilized in the division to monitor the illicit trade and use of tobacco products.

19 retailers were charged for failure to display a ‘no smoking’ sign within their retailing area, while 15 were charged for failure to place a clear and prominent notice inside their retail outlet notifying the public they do not sell tobacco products to any person under the age of 18-years old.

Furthermore, 3 retailers were charged for selling cigarette rolls and 9 people were caught smoking in prohibited public places.

The offenders were served with notices to pay fines ranging from $200.00 to $1000.00 for smoking in public places and the illicit trade of tobacco products respectively.

People who fail to pay the fines will end up serving time in prison.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has issued numerous reminders to the public about the tobacco decree, and any breach of that will result in prosecution.

As tobacco contributes to the high prevalence of NCD rates in the country, the Tobacco Control Unit has effectively introduced strategies to combat the burden of disease in the country.

These strategies include increasing taxes on tobacco products, creating public awareness on the deadly effects of smoking, and declaring tobacco-free zones.

Meanwhile, Fiji was presented with WHO’s 2015 global ‘World No Tobacco Day’ award for continuous work done in the prevention and control of cigarette smoking.

 

Healthy Fijian Food in the global spotlight

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services cookbook ‘Khana Kakana’ has placed healthy Fijian food in the global spotlight after winning second place for best health and nutrition cookbook in the world at the 2015 Gourmand Cookbook Awards.
The International Gourmand Cookbook Awards are the food world’s version of the Oscar Awards, and Khana Kakana competed against the best cookbooks in the world from 205 countries. 92 countries made it to the shortlist along with Khana Kakana. Seven top health and nutrition cookbooks were shortlisted from Canada, the UK, Malaysia, Oman, the Netherlands and Sweden.These cookbooks covered a wealth of healthy topics from foods from obesity prevention to brain and eye health.

Despite this tough competition, Khana Kakana placed second thanks to its focus on healthy eating using local Fijian produce. First place went to a creative cookbook from Sweden which contains beautiful photography and specialized recipes for people with stomas.

Khana Kakana encourages Fijians to eat simple, healthy and affordable meals that use locally grown seasonal produce.

The Hon. Minister for Health and Medical Services, Mr Jone Usamate said “The cookbook has a uniquely healthy Fijian flavor, made up of recipes by both renowned chefs and local Fijians from around the country using fresh, local and affordable ingredients. With nutrition advice snippets and gardening tips, the cookbook provides a total diet solution and inspiration for all Fijians”.

“These efforts are not only improving the health of Fijians and building pride in our foods, but also changing the agricultural and tourism sector as demand for Fijian grown produce increases”.

The Ministry hopes that these efforts will instill a sense of pride in Fijian food and encourage more people to choose healthy local foods to prevent from developing non-communicable diseases.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services would like to thank all Fijians and organisations involved in the making of Khana Kakana, including the Australian Government, the Australian and Fijian Red Cross, Fiji Health Sector Support Program and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
Meanwhile the cookbook is being distributed throughout Fiji free of charge by Ministry dieticians, doctors and nurses. It can also be found on the Ministry’s website at www.health.gov.fj and Facebook page.

Minister for Health and Medical Services Mr Jone Usamate, Assistant Minister Mrs Veena Bhatnagar and Mrs Joanne Choy at the launch of the Khana Kakana cookbook.
Minister for Health and Medical Services Mr Jone Usamate, Assistant Minister Mrs Veena Bhatnagar and Mrs Joanne Choy at the launch of the Khana Kakana cookbook.