Hon. Assistant Minister for Health & Medical Services Mrs Veena Bhatnagar
Celebration and launch of Public Health Initiatives
Thursday 16th July 2015
Sigatoka, Shangri- la’s Fijian Resort and Spa
It is my pleasure and privilege to be here today at the Celebration and launch of Public Health Initiatives. I am stepping in for our Hon. Minister for Health & Medical Services Mr Jone Usamate who I am told is unwell and sends his apologies.
I have been informed that today’s meeting and discussion has been productive and I am sure that there will be positive outcomes achieved through this two day meeting.
Today I am pleased to launch the following:
- NCD Strategic Plan
The Ministry of Health & Medical Service’s Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) Strategic Plan 2015-2019 is aimed at contributing towards a healthier Fiji.
The goals and targets set in the strategic plan are to be achieved by 2019. However, we must acknowledge that the whole nation has to work together to achieve the goals of combating NCD’s. Our key message is that a healthy lifestyle is the key to the prevention of premature deaths and that our individual and collective efforts are important to avert the effects of the devastating epidemic on our economy, our families and our society.
For the first time this NCD strategic plan includes mental health and stress management which are important health problems in their own right, but also closely linked with the other NCDs
- NCD Risk Factor STEPS report 2011
This is the second STEPS survey conducted in Fiji which has revealed highly relevant data on trends and the extent of the NCD problem.
The outlook for Fiji is dire as majority of the adult are at high risk of developing NCDs and growing problems of high blood glucose
All risk factors, except Tobacco have shown an increase in prevalence. Lifestyle of behavioural risk factor intervention remains a key in Fiji’s fight against NCD. Tobacco success offers hope in terms of lessons learnt through advocacy and legislation.
STEPS 2011 has also enabled Fiji to analyse the combined risk factors for the population. 2.7% were found to be of low risk, 63.4% moderate and 34% high risk. One in three Fijian women was found to be anaemic”.
The WHO STEPS SURVEY 2011 is another example of research collaboration between World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MoHMS) of Fiji.
Fiji continues to acknowledge this partnership as it creates evidence to inform strategic interventions to Fiji’s NCD Crisis.
- Global School Based Health Survey (GSHS)
The Global School Based Health Survey (GSHS) Fiji reports that the health lifestyle of children surveyed were generally unhealthy.
This data is now vital for the Health Ministry on areas to focus on in their school health services. The purpose of the GSHS is to establish and provide accurate data on health behaviour among students
The GSHS will also allow the Health Ministry to work with the Ministry of Education’s Curriculum Department Unit on how curriculum delivery could be improved to the extent where knowledge gained in the classrooms manifest as behaviours in students outside the classroom.
The Fiji GSHS was conducted by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Ministry of Health (MOH) with technical assistance provided by the World Health Organization (WHO).
- National Rural and Peri Urban Community Profiling report 2012-2013
Comprehensive community profile represents key products of any development programs. They provide the evidence and the credibility for serious efforts to promote health at community level. They act as the basis for advocacy, the setting of priorities and the accountability for health.
Though the report does not reflect precisely on individual community, data to determine their current status, it however provides an overview of the divisional context to highlight the physical and social characteristic behaviour of communities living in rural areas.
I do trust that this report will serve its purpose to be one of the tools in further decision making processes to meet the vision and mission of MoHMS.
- Community- directly observed treatment (CDOT)
The corner stone of DOTS is the direct observation of the swallowing of medications on a daily basis for the duration of treatment. From this month under funding support from the Global Fund against Aids, TB & Malaria (through the new funding model).
The National TB program is launching community DOTS. The Ministry of Health & Medical Services, National TB programs treatment guidelines and in accordance to recommended WHO guidelines using a patient centered case management approach including directly observed treatment (DOT), when treating persons with active TB disease.
- Celebrating Khana Kakana 2nd place winnder
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services’ cookbook ‘Khana Kakana’ has placed healthy Fijian food in the global spotlight after winning second place for best health and nutrition cookbook in the world at the 2015 Gourmand Cookbook Awards.
The international Gourmand Cookbook Awards are the food world’s version of the Oscars and Khana Kakana competed against best cookbooks in the world from 205 countries. Just 92 countries made it to the shortlist along with Khana Kakana. Seven top health and nutrition cookbooks were shortlisted and were from Canada, UK, Malaysia, Oman, Netherlands and Sweden and covered a wealth of healthy topics from foods for obesity prevention to brain and eye health.
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services would like to thank all of the wonderful Fijians and organisations involved in the making of Khana Kakana including the Australian Government, the Australian and Fijian Red Cross, Fiji Health Sector Support Program and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
Ladies and gentlemen, with these words I now launch these documents and wish you all a wonderful evening and productive day tomorrow.