Mothers urged to Immunise Children

Mothers urged to Immunise Children


The Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services, Hon. Veena Bhatnagar urged mothers to immunise their children in the fight against vaccine-preventable diseases.


The Global and Western Pacific Regional Immunisation Week was launched at the Makoi Health centre today with the theme “Vaccination is everyone’s job, Protect your community”.


Immunisation Week is an annual event in the World Health Organisation (WHO) calendar to initiate global public health campaign to raise awareness and increase rates of immunisation against vaccine preventable diseases.


“Government is committed to improving the lives of our children. We have put strategies in place to supplement their nutrition such as the milk program for our primary school children, free bus fare to schools to ensure that none of these youngsters is deprived of primary school education and the strengthening the immunization programme,” Mrs Bhatnagar said.


The Assistant Minister added that in 2012 Government introduced three new vaccines that reduced childhood pneumonia and diarrhoea and the incidence of cervical cancer.
“Ninety-five percent of children under five in Fiji are fully protected against all vaccine preventable diseases as confirmed via Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI) coverage survey in 2013. This year, Fiji will conduct a blood survey for Hepatitis B which will inform us the impact of the vaccination program on childhood chronic infection rates.”


She added that the lack of awareness of the significance of immunisation, the loss of immunisation cards and disrupted immunization program schedules are some of the reasons why children were not fully immunised as identified via the coverage survey.

The Assistant Minister said there is a need for more public awareness and intensified efforts to close gaps on immunization.

Chikungunya Alert


Media Release 

Chikungunya Alert

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services advises the general public to focus efforts on reducing the risks of Chikungunya circulation in Fiji. This is after it received laboratory confirmation of an imported case of Chikungunya virus disease last week.

Chikungunya virus disease evolved and has progressively circulated amongst neighboring Pacific Island countries in the  since 2014 .

As  Fiji’s population is naïve to previous exposure to the Chikungunya virus , there is the likelihood of an explosive outbreak should the disease reach our shores.

The Ministry has been monitoring the Chikungunya situation in the region very closely in collaboration with WHO (World Health Organisation) and SPC (Secretariat of the Pacific Community). In addition it is also spearheading Chikungunya mitigation activities countrywide in efforts to reduce the risks of establishing the disease in Fiji.

Chikungunya virus disease is caused by the Chikungunya virus (CHIKV).  The Dengue and Chikungunya viruses are spread by the same mosquito vector. CHIKV is transmitted when a mosquito bites an infected individual and then discharges the virus in the bloodstream of a well individual during its next blood feed.

The symptoms of Chinkungunya virus disease, begins 3 – 7 days after being bitten by infected mosquitoes and, includes high fever, joint pains with swelling and stiffness, headache, muscles pains, fatigue and rash on the trunk and limbs. Most will recover within a week, although joint pains may persist for months or years in some cases.

Although the disease is rarely fatal, the socioeconomic burden that comes with massive numbers missing work and school as a result of the disease is immense, as experienced in other Pacific Island countries that are currently dealing with the epidemic.

Prevention of CHIKV infection basically involves reducing the mosquito density to levels that will prevent disease transmission, and also protecting oneself from mosquito bites.

To reduce the mosquito density levels in the community, the Ministry encourages all individuals, government sectors and corporate entities in Fiji to work cohesively with the Ministry of Health in destroying mosquito breeding grounds via frequent organized cleanup campaigns.

To prevent mosquito bites, the use of mosquito repellents, mosquito nets and mosquito screens in windows and doors is recommended.

With the confirmation of an imported case, the Ministry advises members of the public to be more vigilant of the disease and its manifestations and to present to the nearest health facility should they experience signs and symptoms

The Ministry will scale-up other components of its national mosquito vector control program and its disease surveillance activities in concerted efforts to prevent establishment and internal circulation of CHIKV in Fiji.

For further information on CHIKV in Fiji contact Dr Eric Rafai and/or Dr Mike Kama on email address: and/or, respectively.

Call for Submissions for Fiji Journal of Public Health

The FJPH is a Fiji based journal published for public health practitioners, public health researchers,
clinicians and all allied health practitioners. Our goal is to provide evidence based information and
analysis they need to enable them to make the right choices and decisions concerning their health and
health services provided to ensure better health for all.
We seek to publish articles on public health issues in Fiji ranging from child health, maternal health,
neglected tropical diseases, non-communicable diseases, wellness initiatives, environment, climate
change, biomedical research, social-economic research, health determinants, and health systems
research, health policies, reforms, information, human resources etc. Submissions on other topics are
also welcome as long as they relate to public health issues.
We are now accepting submissions for our volume 4, issue 2 edition on
the Theme: Wellness – Nutrition in Fiji”. Submissions are due May15th 2015.
We would accept papers/articles directly or indirectly related to the theme which may be in
the form of Original Research, Abstracts, Opinion pieces, Field Notes, Perspectives; Policy
pieces (Policy papers/Policy Briefs).
Please refer to the Instructions to Authors for more information on Submission
For any further questions regarding submissions, email the Editorial team on or
Volume 4, Issue 2 Theme: Wellness – Nutrition in Fiji
The Fiji Journal of Public Health
Also check out the other upcoming Themes in the Ministry of Health Website @
or the Health Research Portal @

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