HEALTH MINISTRY EMPHASIZES BETTER COORDINATION DURING DISASTERS
Safe and adequate water with sufficient sanitation and good hygiene should be provided to avoid the risk of disease outbreaks.
This was highlighted by the Minister for Health and Medical Services, Hon. Jone Usamate while opening the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) cluster coordination training in Suva today.
The health ministry was the lead agency for the WASH program in the aftermath of Cyclone Winston. The Fijian Government activated the cluster system to assist the overall response effort and to improve the coordination of the response activities.
“WASH is part of the 10 functional clusters under the National Disaster Management Structure. The five day training will enable a more efficient and clear evidence based strategies to build healthy resilient communities and bring about actions in our response and coordination in times of disasters and even between disasters,” Minister Usamate said.
He added that in any emergency, communities need to access safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene.
“Effective and timely intervention can reduce the spread of disease and your work as a cluster contributes in a big way to building our communities to have safe access and practices towards water and sanitation.”
The Minister urged participants to take stock of what was not done and address responses recorded in the evaluation of the last disaster.