Hand washing minimizes Communicable Diseases


The Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Mrs Veena Bhatnagar with a prize recipient for the poster competition.


“We should identify ourselves as hygiene champions to create a strong social norm of good hygiene in our homes, office, communities and region”, was the message from the Assistant Minister for Health & Medical Services Mrs Veena Bhatnagar while launching the Global Hand Washing Day.


The Ministry of Health & Medical Services in partnership with Colgate Palmolive celebrated Global Hand Washing Day at St Joseph the walker Primary school in Nasinu with the theme “Raise a hand for hygiene”.


The school students are targeted as they are instrumental for behavioural change.


The benefits of hand washing drills in schools and creating awareness around the importance of washing hand before eating and after visiting toilet facilities has made a huge impact in the decline of communicable diseases worldwide.


This campaign is dedicated to raising awareness on hand washing with soap as the most effective and inexpensive way of preventing infection.


Mrs Bhatnagar said that everyone should practice hand washing as promoting health is everybody’s business.


“Even though this event initially targeted school children, the focus should also be on our mothers & fathers, family members and teachers who have a lot of influence on the health of our children, to help supervise and establish hand washing practices”, Mrs Bhatnagar said.


Global Hand Washing day is commemorated in the month of October annually.

Health Ministry launches awareness program on breast cancer


Breast cancer cases in Fiji is on the increase because women refuse medical treatment or they do not present themselves early for medical checkups.

This was revealed at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) by Acting Permanent Secretary for Health & Medical Services Dr Meciusela Tuicakau at the launch of the Breast Cancer Awareness Program this morning.

“In 1st world countries, there are nil/ close to zero deaths due to Breast Cancers. However in Fiji there’s 60% mortality because of late detection & presentation to the hospitals”, Dr Tuicakau added.

The current statistics shows that Fiji has 355 cases of breast cancer of which 2% are males and 98% are females while the youngest being 17 years old.

Consultant surgeon at the CWM hospital, Dr Josese Bulitavu said that the escalating breast cancer cases in Fiji is due to the fact that women ignore medical treatment.

“With little or no success people fall back to the medical facilities but they are late. By the time they present to the health facilities, they are in advance stages of the disease which is difficult to contain”, said Dr Bulitavu.

“Breast cancer cases if presented early to the health facilities can be treated and the onus is on people to seek early medical intervention”.


The Assistant  Minister  for health and Medical services Mrs Veena Bhatnagar launched the pinktober awareness in Suva Last week.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has declared the month of October for advocacy on breast cancer awareness.

Numerous activities are organised to educate women on early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer .

Health: Antimicrobial resistance important

Health: Antimicrobial resistance important

The Ministry of Health & Medical Services has noted that Fiji faces increasing levels and spread of resistant infections.

This was highlighted this morning by the Hon. Minister for Health & Medical Services Mr Jone Usamate at the 2nd Stakeholder Consultation Workshop on Microbial Resistance.

“The World Health Organization has recognized antimicrobial resistance as a global health threat, which requires a One Health approach”.

“In our Region, it is an increasing problem with some of the world’s highest rates of resistant microorganisms and infections. There is a risk that simple medical procedures such as surgeries will not be possible as infections become untreatable”.

The Health Ministry remains committed to improve health services which will lead to reducing morbidity and mortality.

Patients with resistant infections place a high burden on the health care system requiring additional resources that needs to be addressed.

“In Fiji we are committed to combating antimicrobial resistance and have declared it has one of our priority agendas. We are currently developing our national plan on antimicrobial resistance. This will be the first in the Pacific and hopefully serve as a model to other countries. We are also establishing an AMR task force to oversee the implementation of the plan through a One Health approach”, Mr Usamate said.

Meanwhile the 2 day consultation is being organized the Health Ministry in collaboration with World Health Organization and is being attended by Ministry of Environment, Agriculture, Fisheries, FNU, GP’s, Consumer Council, health staff and Pharmacists.