Health: Research and Stakeholder meeting on Leptospirosis
The Ministry of Health & Medical Services (MoHMS) has convened on a 2 day meeting at Novotel Suva, to finalise the Leptospirosis Action Plan 2016-2020.
Leptospirosis is a priority communicable disease for the MoHMS due to its high morbidity and mortality rate, compared to other serious communicable diseases.
An average of 420 laboratory-confirmed cases and 42 deaths have been reported each year from 2012-2014. Hence the aim of this meeting is to also strengthen the efforts to reduce the burden of Leptospirosis in Fiji.
This 2 day meeting is also being held to facilitate consultation between representatives from government and local ministries, private agricultural enterprise, non-government organisations, SPC and WHO. This group will play a role in the development and implementation of a national strategy for the control of leptospirosis in Fiji.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that affects humans and animals. It is caused by the genus Leptospira. Some symptoms include high fever, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea and rash.
The 2 day meeting was initiated by the Health Ministry’s Centres for Disease Control (FCCDC) and facilitated by SPC.
New guidelines launched to address heart disease and stroke.
The Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr Meciusela Tuicakau launched the third edition of the cardiovascular therapeutic guidelines which will provide a holistic approach to the management of cardiovascular diseases (heart disease and stroke) in the country.
It has been established that cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of premature mortality in Fiji, therefore the development of a standard guideline is important to ensure consistent treatment of all patients in the country.
Unlike the first two editions (1999, 2006) this new third edition incorporates the non-pharmacological aspects of treatment of cardiovascular diseases to provide the reader with comprehensive treatment options for the patients.
The Acting Counsellor, Development and Cooperation Fiji and Tuvalu said “Given that cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of illness in Fiji, this document will be a useful guide for both public and private health workers in caring for cardiovascular suffers.
Dr Tuicakau while addressing the participants has called for support from its development partners to help address the burden of diseases.
“We have noted that the Health and Medical Services care cannot alone solve the issues, there is a definite need for the whole of government or multisectoral approach with NGOs, faith based organisations, professional bodies locally and overseas”, added Dr Tuicakau.
Dr Tuicakau thanked the Fiji Health Sector Support Program for providing the much needed support in the development of the guidelines which will eventually be made accessible to the health staff and others who need it.
Meanwhile medical officers from around the pacific gathered in Suva to discuss issues pertaining to the provision of health services regionally.
Health devices plan to combat Anti-Microbial Resistance.
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has begun consultations with stakeholders to formulate strategies to combat the emergence of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).
Antimicrobial resistance is the ability of microbes to grow in the presence of a chemical (drug) that would normally kill them or limit their growth. Antimicrobial resistance makes it harder to eliminate infections from the body as existing drugs become less effective.
The Acting Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr Meciusela Tuicakau opened a two day National Anti-Microbial Resistance Workshop at Warwick Hotel where stakeholders have gathered to develop a comprehensive multi-sectoral national action plan on AMR.
The workshop looked at ways to strengthen laboratory capacity, surveillance and resources to manage AMR.
Meanwhile the Global Action Plan on AMR was endorsed at the 68th World Health Assembly where the member states were urged to develop national action plans by May 2017.
In response, Fiji has proposed establishing a national committee on AMR this year.