Women’s groups encouraged on health issues

The Hon. Assistant Minister for Health & Medical Services Mrs Veena Bhatnagar today encouraged women to pay more attention to their health.

This is while addressing women and other invited guests at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Soroptomist International Sigatoka.

“Each and every girl and woman must ensure that everyone in the family is screened for NCD. This means eye check, dental check, sugar, pressure and cholesterol checks, cancer check, “Said Mrs Bhatnagar.

“A check a year is essential for the prevention and control of NCD. This health seeking behaviour needs to be emphasized so that Fijians don’t wait until they are sick before they come to us. We want to check Fijians while you are well”.

The Health Ministry has noted that not all Fijians smoke, drink alcohol or exercise. However all Fijian do eat irrespective of age, colour, gender, religion or economic status, hence eating and drinking is the main risk factor that needs to be controlled.

Mrs Bhatnagar added, “Let’s all commit ourselves to lead and live a healthy life. Our struggle to create a better life for all citizens of Fiji, The Ministry of Health is involved in high level of program of action, awareness and advocacy. We continue to intensify our campaign to promote healthy lifestyles within our communities”.

Meanwhile, the Hon. Assistant Minister for Health & Medical Services also launched Soroptimist Interational Sigatoka 20th Anniversary magazine. The Soroptimist International Sigatoka has worked on various health related projects.

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.