Health Ministry hopes to end AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Health Ministry hopes to end AIDS epidemic by 2030.

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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

PRESIDENT LEADS HEALTH WALK

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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.

KOICA FIJI OFFICE TO BOOST MEDICAL SERVICES.

KOICA FIJI OFFICE TO BOOST MEDICAL SERVICES.

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The opening of the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Fiji office will strengthen the bilateral relationship between Fiji and Korea and will open many opportunities for further developments in the medical arena in Fiji.

This was revealed by the outgoing Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Mrs Veena Bhatnagar as she delivered the congratulatory remarks in Suva last week.

Mrs Bhatnagar said that as a developing nation, Fiji has benefitted immensely in the past in terms of infrastructural developments and human resource capacity building, and opening the new office will further enhance these developments.

“I whole heartedly congratulate the Korean Government on the reopening of the KOICA office in Fiji, as this will open the door to many opportunities for the medical fraternity in regards to the provision of better healthcare services”, said Mrs Bhatnagar.

Korean ambassador to Fiji H.E. Seong-in Kim also expressed similar sentiments and said he was looking forward to working with his Fiji counterparts in improving the livelihood of people in Fiji.

“We have contributed to many developments in Fiji and with the opening of the new office, we will be able to collaborate more and hope to further assist in the provision of healthcare services.

Meanwhile the KOICA Fiji office will also be assisting neighboring Pacific Island countries as part of its commitment to socioeconomic development in the region.