World Health Assembly: Pacific Health Ministers maintain a Pacific voice

 World Health Assembly: Pacific Health Ministers maintain a Pacific voice 


The Minister for Health & Medical Services Hon Jone Usamate chaired a meeting of the Pacific Ministers for Health during the 69th World Health Assembly in Geneva where it was identified that Pacific health leaders must advocate for a strong Pacific voice in the global arena.

“The need for Pacific Health Ministers to continuously present a united front on the issues of NCD and climate change remains paramount as these issues are having a devastating impact on the Pacific. This can be achieved by continuous information sharing amongst Pacific Island Countries”.

The Health Ministers again reiterated their commitment to sharing information to benefit the region in securing solutions and learning off one another in dealing with health issues of mutual concern such as that of NCD, Communicable diseases, Climate Change, HIV/AIDS etc.

“The Ministers agreed that it is crucial for the Pacific to have its issues highlighted on a global front, and the onus remains with our leaders to push our agenda forward”, Mr Usamate added.

There were 25 attendees to this meeting including 11 Pacific Ministers and other country delegates to the World Health Assembly.

The meeting was a success as members were able to deliberate on health issues relevant to the Pacific that were raised at the Guam meeting in October 2015 and they were also provided an update on all the issues they had discussed during their 2015 meeting in Fiji.

They also resolved to make efficient use of opportunities as such of the World Health Assembly or other forums where most Pacific Ministers will be in attendance.

Pacific Health Ministers expressed their appreciation to the chairman for convening this meeting.

Assistant Health Minister commends nurses’ work.

Assistant Health Minister commends nurses’ work.

Assistant Health Minister Mrs Veena Bhatnagar with staff nurses at the CWM hospital


The Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Mrs Veena Bhatnagar commended the nurses for the delivery of timely and efficient services to the people of Fiji and have urged them to continue the good work they are doing.

She congratulated them while opening the 2016 International Nurses Day celebration at the CWM Hospital in Suva.

Mrs Bhatnagar said that nurses are a group of very special professionals in any healthcare system since they make up the largest portion of the health workforce, and their services reach across the broad spectrum of health.

“Nurses can be the cornerstone and stepping stone to improving our health system and service delivery”, she said.

“I applaud each one of you for holding the fort and moving forward, well focused on achieving your goals and your vision and the oath that you have sworn, to uphold what you ought to do”, Mrs Bhatnagar added.

She further said that the resilience showed by the nurses after the TC Winston was another milestone in the service as they continued to deliver despite difficult circumstances.

Director Nursing Services in Fiji Sr Silina Waqa reiterated that the government’s commitment to increase nurse numbers by 200 staff over the next two years is intact, and the total number of nurses in Fiji would exceed well over 3000.

Meanwhile, the celebrations were followed by a symposium as the nurses were refreshed with the call for service delivery.





The Hon. Minister for Health and Medical Service Mr. Jone Usamate said His Excellency the President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konousi Konrote pick up rubbish for the “Fight the Bight – Clean up Fiji” campaign #FightTheBiteFiji



The national “Clean Up Fiji – Fight the Bite” Campaign was rolled out on May 16 by His Excellency the President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konousi Konrote in efforts to destroy mosquito breeding sites.

The campaign is a concerted effort by government ministries and key stakeholders targeting mosquito hotspots (densely populated areas) throughout the country over a period of one month.

The Head of State said that cleaning up and destroying mosquito breeding places is the most effective way to control the spread of mosquito borne diseases.

“While dengue fever is the most deadly and rapidly spread disease in Fiji, Zika has recently started to affect the people of Fiji. It is important for every Fijian to take ownership of this campaign with a united approach by Government, businesses, communities, villages, schools and religious bodies,” President Konrote said.

He added that Zika is a new threat to Fiji which affects pregnant mothers and their unborn child.

“Pregnant women need to take precaution and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Apart from civil servants taking part in the clean-up campaign, we need everyone on board to inform the public on the dangers of mosquito borne diseases.”

The Minister for Health and Medical Services, Hon. Jone Usamate said people need to take ownership of their health and not only rely on hospitals and health officials.

“We want to empower people to take ownership of their health and improve their living environments. We are grateful that the leaders of our country have taken the lead role in moving this campaign forward,” Minister Usamate said.

Meanwhile The Health Ministry in conjunction the World Health Organization has formulated a Zika Action Plan to inform the public on the symptoms and preventative measures against Zika.

The 3 main steps to Fight the Bite are: 1) Wear loose, light clothing, and sleeping with a mosquito net. 2) Use repellant with DEET, Icaridin or IR3553. 3) Destroy mosquito breeding grounds in your compound, e.g. anything that contains still water such as tires, empty coconut shells, tin cans, gutters and drains and long grass.