Health: More awareness on HIV

Health: More awareness on HIV

pic3

The Ministry of Health & Medical Services continues to create more awareness on HIV/AIDS in Fiji.

December 1st marks World AIDS Day, and was observed last Tuesday with the theme “AIDS Will Lose”. The Hon. Minister for Health & Medical Services Mr Jone Usamate said that the prevention of HIV is important.

“The Health Ministry will continue to work closely with its partners in creating much needed awareness on HIV/AIDS”.

“It has been noted that the number of known new cases of HIV has slowly increased over the years owing to increased awareness for testing. There has also been an increased opportunity for screening through antenatal clinics and also during festivals/events. We also have the availability of testing at divisional hospitals and some subdivisional”, Mr Usamate added.

Minister Usamate also reminded the health staff to spread the message to friends and relatives so as to generate wider awareness.

Fiji is considered to be a low prevalence country for HIV/AIDS, as the estimated number of people living with HIV in Fiji is less than 1,000. The cumulative number of people diagnosed with HIV as of 30th September 2015 is 647.

Regional Participants attend BioMed Workshop

Regional Participants attend BioMed Workshop

pic2

10 participants were awarded their certificates after successfully completing 6 weeks of the Biomed workshop and attachment training at the Fiji Pharmaceutical and Biomedical services last week.

This Cold Chain Maintenance Project spearheaded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under the South-South Cooperation project is aimed at providing training to medical officials in the maintenance of the refrigeration system for the preservation of the medicines in health facilities.

South–South Cooperation is a term historically used by policymakers and academics to describe the exchange of resources, technology, and knowledge between developing countries, also known as countries of the global South.

Fiji considers the introduction of South-South Cooperation (SSC) as being one way in which to offer support to our neighbouring countries and has requested assistance from Japan to support their initiative through establishing a mechanism for SSC.

Deputy Secretary Hospital Services at the Health Ministry Dr Luisa Cikamatana thanked JICA for the timely workshop as the workforce has been further strengthened.

The Program also included participants from Tuvalu, Kiribati and Nauru who will assist the medical departments in their respective countries to maintain refrigeration systems for storing medication.

Meanwhile, more technical training courses have been planned for the future, including for human resource development for Fiji and the neighboring countries.

Community Health Worker Program strengthened

Community Health Worker Program strengthened

pic1

The Community Health Worker program in Fiji has been further strengthened today by the development of two training manuals and a Community Health Worker (CHW) policy. This was revealed by the Hon. Minister for Health & Medical Services Mr Jone Usamate.

The policy, developed for Community Health Workers, will provide structure, systems and processes that are vital in bridging social and economic gaps in community settings.

The module training manuals will be used by officers at the primary health care level to train CHWs.

Mr Usamate said, “The program was initially set up to address the shortage of health professionals, but now plays a crucial role in broadening access to other services including health services in remote and hard to reach areas”.

“Their inclusion in the health system has evidently led to improved health outcomes, especially in the area of child health”.

Community Health Workers are an important link between the formal health system and the community. They are members of communities who are chosen by their leadership or organization to promote wellness, healthy practices and health seeking behaviors.

The Health Ministry is committed to the CHW program which is also supported by the Fiji Health Sector Support Program. Development has been progressive in areas such as core competency, safe motherhood, child health and wellness.

Mr Usamate also said that the role of CHWs is vital to address health priorities for Fiji, which include non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and climate change.

“It is vital to address these issues at community level. Therefore, it is important that they are given the recognition as instruments of change and provided the support to share their knowledge and skills in the community”, Mr Usamate added.