MINISTER PAYS TRIBUTE TO 21 YEARS OF SERVICE
Last Thursday, the Minister for Health and Medical Services Hon. Jone Usamate paid tribute to Empower Pacific on its 21st anniversary for the counselling and support services it has provided Fijians since its inception.
Speaking at the celebrations in Lautoka, Minister Usamate said the partnership between the Ministry and Empower Pacific has seen many Fijians benefit from its services.
“Empower Pacific has played and will continue to play an important role in our health system and perhaps the greatest interest is the ability of Empower Pacific to provide counsellors with specialist STI and HIV certification,” he said.
“This service has been the backbone of our antenatal HIV testing and counselling programme and last year reached over 13, 000 pregnant women across Fiji.”
He also paid tribute to the founder and volunteers of the non-governmental organisation, saying their services have been invaluable to the work carried out around the country.
Hon. Usamate called on closer collaboration between Empower Pacific and the Ministry of Health to further strengthen their work.
“Empower Pacific has and will continue to play a critical role in the ministry’s mental health programme and even today it is evident in almost daily referrals of patients for crisis counselling from our mental health units and health facilities,” Hon. Usamate said.
“I thank Empower Pacific for maintaining high standards of training and qualifications and am pleased that they are able to serve the clients and patients in our health outlets.”