MINISTRY MAXIMISES AWARENESS ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH PROGRAMS

Increasing community based programs is one of the key strategies of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to raise awareness on the reproductive health development. Minister, Hon. Rosy Akbar reiterates that it will be achieved through providing a comprehensive and integrated reproductive health services in communities.

“In providing an enabling environment, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services is committed towards improving the accessibility to reproductive health services. The International Conference on Population Development (ICPD) Plan of Action affirms that reproductive rights embrace certain human rights that includes the recognition of basic rights of individuals to have the information and means to access highest standard of Reproductive Health services. Fiji is one of the Pacific Island Country (PIC) signatories of the ICPD.

“The Reproductive Health Policy of Fiji explicitly supports the rights of all women and men to have access to curative and preventive reproductive health services. It also takes note of the rights of young people to have access to youth friendly services, access to reproductive health information that will help them make responsible choices and in particular prevent unplanned pregnancy, STIs/HIV.

“The role of Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s) in raising awareness at community level on Reproductive Health and Family Planning services is notable. And linking of the public sector with these organizations has significantly contributed towards improving access to services especially to those hard-to-reach vulnerable groups,” Minister Akbar said.

The Health Ministry will also capitalize on a collaborative platform to enable active participation of the communities in responding to the reproductive health issues.

“Increased awareness is the key to enable the communities to understand the impact of Family Planning on their future health, livelihood and wellbeing. Strengthening the health systems response to unmet needs in terms of specialized nurses in Family Planning through provisions of training, availability of information and guidelines on Family Planning also needs to be addressed.

“It also means increasing accessibility of counseling services at all levels of health system including the community level. And empowerment of community health workers and general awareness on booking for antenatal clinic and through the stages of prenatal and postnatal care are some of the ways the Ministry will enhance the community based programs for reproductive health services,” Minister Akbar added.

Reproductive health services in Fiji covers a wide area of health care, the main ones include:

  • Safe Motherhood – encompasses maternal care and neonatal care
  • Infant and child care • Adolescent health care
  • Family Planning and Prevention of Abortion
  • STI-HIV prevention and management, and Basic Infertility services
  • Management of gynaecological morbidity – including reproductive tract cancers & infections.

Workshop addresses Nutrition in emergencies

Nutrition pic finalThe partnership between the Ministry of Health and Medical Services with UNICEF has created opportunities for enhanced learning on providing effective nutrition response for emergency preparedness.

The partnership has created a 3 days workshop called “Nutrition in Emergencies” that was held from Tuesday 20th to Friday 22nd September at Tanoa Plaza in Suva. A total of 25 participants comprising of representatives from Ministry of Health and nutrition sub-cluster along with stakeholders from the World Health Organisation, Fiji National University and Secretariat of the Pacific Community are part of this training.

The workshop was officially opened by the Deputy Secretary Public Health, Dr Eric Rafai. He emphasised on the importance of the training for capacity building of the nutrition sub-cluster.

“Timely and effective nutrition response is our common goal and our responsibility as the health and nutrition sub-cluster. This workshop will support strengthen our existing preparedness plan and response to emergencies in future especially during the implementation of intervention in the communities.

“This workshop is an opportunity to start identifying and prioritising key action that we see as critical towards providing effective protection of the nutritional status of the girls, boys’ women and communities in Fiji,” Mr Rafai said.

He thanked the nutrition sub-cluster members for their hardwork to reachout to the families who were affected by tropical cyclone Winston.

“Nutrition sub-cluster has continued to improve in terms of its capacity building and in mobilizing the other organisations and nutrition professionals, increase in number of interventions including capacity building to strengthen the Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition. We can collectively do much more to ensure adequate support is provided to our community and the children of Fiji,” Mr Rafai elaborated.


 

NEW ACTION PLANS TO ENHANCE HEALTH CARE SERVICES

 

DSC_0078The Fijian Government through the Ministry of Health and Medical Services will undertake new action plans to improve the public health care services in Fiji. This was highlighted by the Minister for Health and Medical Services, Hon. Rosy Akbar while speaking in the parliament today.

Minister Akbar outlined a number of initiatives that would be implemented to increase the health care accessibility. The initiatives highlighted included the Nurses Specialisation Program, arrangement of locum doctors, free medicine program and capacity building of medical expertise.

“The Ministry embarked on a nursing specialisation program over the past several years that sent our nurses overseas for attachments in specialised areas. These nurses have performed extremely well and have brought knowledge and expertise back to Fiji that they can pass on to their counterparts.

“We are working with the Ministry of Civil Service to develop the remuneration packages and structure that we need to recruit and retain top-talent,” Minister Akbar said.

The Health Ministry will also embark on new measures to reduce the long patient waiting queues in public hospitals.

“We have confirmed that there will be a pooling of locum doctors who can fill in during busy periods to help remedy the doctor shortages we face. That means shorter queues and more opportunities for Fijians to seek treatment when they need it.  A locum arrangement with Nadi Hospital is currently underway and others will start up around the country on the basis of need.

“The locum arrangement will bring in general practitioners to support our health sector in critical areas. It is an immediate fix to the service delivery issues that we face until we are able to staff our hospitals appropriately. Substantial resources are allocated towards recruiting doctors from overseas to fill gaps in both the clinical and public health arenas.

“We are currently working intimately with the Ministry of Civil Service to fill those gaps, so far have approved 879 new positions for medical superintendents, consultants, Chief, Principal and Senior Medical Officers and medical interns and assistants.

“So far we have filled 553 of those positions, and we will continue to seek qualified professionals for the remaining 326 spots. These new recruitment efforts come on top of the recent pay-rise ranging from 56 percent to 81 percent for our doctors, which has made major strides in increasing job security and satisfaction, it has given our doctors the professional recognition they deserve,” Minister Akbar elaborated.

In the new action plan, the Ministry will aspire to develop hospitals that provides clean environment and professional healthcare services delivered with a lot of compassion and empathy.  As of end of this month, a compiled a list of medicines will also be made freely available to eligible members of the public, through the Fijian Government’s Free Medicine Program.

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