Yako Village has become the latest community in the country to join the Community Health and Fitness Program following the launch by the Minister for Health and Medical Services Hon. Rosy Sofia Akbar at its village hall today. The village, through the programme, has received two fitness bikes, three sewing machines, and steam cooker sets.
Turaga ni Koro Samisoni Raidriwa said the villagers were honoured to have hosted the programme, adding that they would put these equipment to the best use.
“As the case in Fijian settlements and villages, we only exercise when we are young, and as we grow older, we tend to stop doing things that help us stay fit and healthy,” he said.
“As a result of this we have five villagers who have undergone amputation. We have now realized the need to continuously engage in health and fitness exercises and we are grateful that we have now received these equipment.”
Minister Akbar urged the villager to use the equipment to its full potentials however, highlighted the need for the villagers to take ownership of the equipment through taking good care of it.
“I urge you all especially our mothers and the women of the village to also use this equipment because most of the time we are left behind but we must be able to stay fit and feed our family members healthy foods,” Minister Akbar said.
“Please take good care of the equipment because it is your equipment and everybody must take responsibility in its upkeep and maintenance.”
(Pictures from this event can be accessed from the Fijian Government Facebook page.)
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MOHMS) has been working closely with the Ministry of Education and World Health Organization (WHO) to address the recent outbreak of meningococcal disease at the St John’s College Cawaci in Levuka, Ovalau Island.
Meningococcal disease is a life threatening bacterial infection that usually causes inflammation on the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and/or blood poisoning (meningococcemia). Whilst the disease is not common, it is a very serious illness that can develop quickly and cause death.
In response to the outbreak, the MOHMS sent a vaccination team to Levuka to vaccinate all students and staff at the college with the meningococcal vaccine, Sanofi Pasteur Menactra. Vaccination is critical to preventing the spread of meningococcal disease as the vaccine builds a person’s immune system to fight against the bacteria.
The meningococcal vaccine was supplied by the WHO and provides protection against meningococcal serogroup A, C, Y, W135. Testing of suspected case samples in Australian laboratories, facilitated by WHO, confirmed that meningococcal serogroup C was responsible for this recent outbreak.
The vaccine was administered by a single injection in the upper arm. This vaccine can cause some side effects, such as low grade fever, nausea, diarrhea, headaches and swelling where the injection was given; however the risk of serious side effects is extremely low. As such a team of medical staff were assigned to monitor all students in the school following their vaccination and treat any complaints.
In addition to the vaccination program, the MOHMS will continue to provide important meningococcal health information to equip students and staff with necessary knowledge about the disease and increase monitoring of students to support early detection and rapid treatment of potential new cases.