Collaboration to continue between FNU and MOHMS
Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Mr Philip Davies, addressed organisers and members of the FNU Pacific Islands Health Research Symposium (PIHRS) on 14th September at Holiday Inn, Suva. This was Mr Davies’ first address in Fiji, and he was enthused by the diverse symposium.
“It is encouraging to see the balance of topics,” remarked Mr Davies to FNU’s researchers. “Local researchers are in a unique space to explore not only relevant health issues, but the contributing environmental and social factors,” he said.
Chief Guest, Professor Nii-K Plange, mentioned the two-day symposium an opportunity for robust health research to improve health care service and delivery, and improve university curriculum.
The Permanent Secretary highlighted the importance of accurate and timely research to strengthen knowledgeable policy-making and is looking forward to the partnership of the Health Ministry with colleges and institutions of medicine and science.
Mr Davies commended researchers and further encouraged them to publish their work.
Nurses discuss “Primary Health Care Nursing toward NCD Prevention” in Japan
Earlier this month, ten nurses from the Central Division attended a two-week training in Tokyo and Shiga Japan, facilitated by JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency).
MoHMS nurses, health officials and JICA representatives met to debrief on the recent initiative “Primary Health Care Nursing towards NCD prevention”, where attendees shared their experiences and learnings with colleagues.
The training covered areas including evidence-based practice for NCD prevention and control at primary health care level; operational capacity strengthening at primary level; monitoring and evaluation capacity strengthening at divisional and sub-divisional level.
The nurses hope to share good practices and lessons learned from the training with health teams around the country, and also with other pacific island countries.
Divisional Health Sister Penina Vuniyasi said the team also learned a lot about nutrition, including serving sizes. “When we first arrived in Japan, we Fijians were taking one of every type of food. But the kitchen staff told us only to take one! Then we realized we should focus on the quality, not the quantity of the food”, she explained.
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.