New water testing equipments will reduce communicable diseases
Water quality testing equipment presented to the Health Ministry.
Thanks to a donation of water testing equipment from the WHO and UNICEF, the Health Ministry will improve its capacity to monitor the quality of drinking water in Fiji.
The donation of 13 Potatest and 4 Potalab kits will greatly assist the Environmental Health Unit of the Health Ministry to conduct water quality monitoring.
Receiving the water testing equipment, the former Health Minister Hon. Jone Usamate explained why this equipment would be so useful, especially in rural areas.
“In Fiji, approximately 53% of rural populations drink water drawn from creeks and rivers and this initiative will be able to monitor and enable immediate response action by the Ministry to limit transmission of water borne diseases and subsequent loss of lives”, Mr Usamate said.
The equipment will be distributed to TC Winston-affected areas such as Rakiraki, Korovou, Vanuabalavu, Lomaiviti and Taveuni and later on to other rural communities in Fiji.
Hon. Usamate expressed his sincere gratitude to WHO and UNICEF for this initiative, which will make daily tasks such as hand-washing and preparing food easier and safer for many Fijians.
Meanwhile, the Fiji Centre for Communicable Disease Control at the Ministry of Health will continue to work with WHO and UNICEF in coordinating all water testing activities.
Health Ministry hopes to end AIDS epidemic by 2030.
Participants at the HIV prevention training
The 2016-2020 National Strategic Plan on Reducing HIV and STI in Fiji is now ready for implementation by the Health Ministry, in conjunction with stakeholders including civil society organisations which are undergoing training in disease prevention.
This was revealed by the Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Mr Phillip Davies at the national capacity building workshop for stakeholders, held in Suva this week.
Mr Davies noted a collaborative effort was essential in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and this requires commitment from all stakeholders.
“As the fight against HIV/AIDS shifts from an emergency response to a long term response, the role of civil society organisations (CSOs), including community based, non-governmental and faith based organisations in HIV and AIDS prevention, care and support efforts is important”, he said.
“Fiji’s response to HIV has shown improvements and has broken down barriers, especially in the last five years, including a reduction of TB-related deaths amongst people living with HIV by 32% since 2004.
Mr Davies further added that the HIV/AIDS response has always been about partnership.
“I sincerely acknowledge all civil society organisations present in the training here today, as your continuous involvement and commitment is fundamental to ensuring robust local responses to HIV”.
Meanwhile, the five-day training is not only aimed at reducing and reversing HIV infection in Fiji, but ensuring equity and quality of life for everyone by reducing stigma and discrimination.
PRESIDENT LEADS HEALTH WALK
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services staff braved the wet and chilly weather before dawn on Wednesday last week to join the President of Fiji His Excellency Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote for the morning walk to mark Physical Activity Month for the Ministry. A keen walker himself, the President is passionate about encouraging all Fijians to move more.
“Physical activity doesn’t have to mean joining a gym. Playing with your kids, taking the stairs instead of the elevator– it’s all about moving. Walking is free, it is easy, and it is something we can do just by stepping out the door. We are all aware of the threats of NCDs and what behaviours can help us avoid these issues, now it is time to walk the talk”, he said.
Physical activity is one main factors which can reduce the risks of NCDs, and every citizen should make it a part of their daily life.
The Hon. Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Mrs Veena Bhatnagar was also present to lend her support. “This was a reminder that physical activity can be practised by anyone at anytime,” she said.
Physical Activity Month has begun with full momentum following The President’s Walk. Certified and student physiotherapists began the month with a corporate training session at Vodafone Headquarters on World Physiotherapy Day. On Friday 9th September, the Health Ministry conducted a continuing education workshop for local practitioners.