Handover of laboratory equipment for improved diabetes management

The Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, Ms Margaret Twomey, will hand over to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MoHMS) FJD$394,943.60 worth of laboratory equipment to support improved diabetes management in Fiji.
Speaking to invited guests at the Navua Hospital, Ms Twomey said, “Through Australia’s Fiji Health Sector Support Program, I am delighted that our investment in this laboratory equipment, and the ongoing work with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, will assist diabetic patients to lead full and productive lives. Australia is proud to be associated with efforts to prevent and manage diabetes.”
Results from both the 2002 and 2011 World health organization STEP wise surveys showed high rates of poorly controlled diabetes amongst Fijians. In an effort to better identify and manage people with diabetes, the MoHMS in partnership with FHSSP, launched a diabetes screening program in 2012 and equipped public health nurses with NCD toolkits. From 2014 onwards public health workers have also been upskilled with motivational interviewing techniques so they can more effectively counsel their diabetic clients to make positive behaviour changes and comply with treatment regimens.
This new laboratory equipment will enable the testing of HbA1c at six additional health facilities— Rakiraki, Tavua, Taveuni, Navua and Levuka hospitals and the Seaqaqa health centre. Being able to provide this test at site enables both health workers and clients to improve follow up and better manage their diabetes.
In receiving the equipment, the Minister for Health and Medical Services, Hon Rosy Akbar, thanked the Australian Government and FHSSP for their ongoing support, “This public private partnership is the key foundation to nurture a multi-sectoral approach that is needed to enhance the health services and collaboratively address the challenges relative to Fiji’s health sector development.”
The Minister added, “I am pleased to note that the laboratory and biomedical technicians will receive training to equip them with the skills to correctly operate and maintain the machines. This equipment will make a great impact in terms of providing the ability to better follow up and manage diabetic conditions and adjust treatment as necessary.”
If you think you may have diabetes, please go to your nearest health facility to be checked.
For any further information, please contact FHSSP Office Manager Vasiti Nailele on 9491160 or email vasiti.nailele@fhssp.org.fj