EU Fun Run

EU Fun Run


Leading by example, the Minister for Health & Medical Services, Hon Jone Usamate took part in the European Union (EU) Fun Run that happened over the weekend.

Despite the early morning drizzle, Mr Usamate energized the crowd and thanked the EU for organising such an event.

“As we all know, July is NCD month, so there’s never been a better time to eat healthily and increase your physical activity. I want to see more events like this that promote Wellness. I firmly believe that all Fijians need to move more, and Fun Runs like this are a good way to motivate people”, he said.

Two races were run simultaneously along the Suva seawall, being 10km and 5km. The winners were:

5km Women: Maya Ramsden; Men: Jeremiah Shavneel

10km Women: Kati Doehring; Men: Raveneel Kumar



The Ra health sub-division in collaboration with other government departments organized a march to signal the commencement of the July National NCD screening month.

The people of Ra were advised to present themselves to the health facilities for checkups to update their medical status.

The Honourable Assistant Minister for Health Mrs Veena Bhatnagar while attending an official function took time away to join the march and to boost the morale of the health staff, to mount a comprehensive awareness and checkups of the people of Ra.

“I thank you for this initiative and I am sure you will be able to deliver the services to the maximum people who are unaware of their health status,” Mrs Bhatnagar said.

Meanwhile, nationwide screenings have also begun and people are advised to go to the nearest Health facility to get their checkup done.



Every year the Ministry of Health & Medical Services observes Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Month to raise awareness on preventing NCDs and staying healthy.

The Ministry launched NCD Month in Vunindawa with display booths and advice to the public on successful ways to combat non-communicable diseases by promoting Wellness.

The theme is “Youth for Wellness; Say no to alcohol and tobacco use”. The escalating prevalence of NCDs in Fiji raises concerns as these diseases, which include heart problems, stroke and diabetes, contribute to almost 80% of all deaths.

These preventable diseases have had a devastating impact on the health of the people of the region. NCDs are a barrier keeping Fiji from achieving not only the health-related Sustainable Development Goals, but also some much broader visions of health in sub-regions like Healthy Islands for the Pacific. Subsequently health issues also hinder economic progress when otherwise productive members of society are unable to work.

The Minister for Health and Medical Services Hon Jone Usamate continues to remind people to engage in healthier lifestyles.

‘Eat more fresh foods and less processed foods and engage in more physical activity, or put simply, move more. Our health and wellbeing is our responsibility and we must take full ownership of this to live a productive life”.

Mr Usamate also added that people should not wait till they become sick to get screened. “Even if you are well, engage in routine health checks so that you are aware of how your body is progressing. A lot of times we see people present to health facilities quite late”.

Throughout the month of July the Health Ministry will continue to remind the public on the importance of getting screened to know their health status.

The National Advisor for NCD & Wellness Dr Isimeli Tukana said that people must get into the habit of keeping track of their health.

“We must focus on replacing illness with wellness and this can be done if we all play our part. Do not wait to fall unwell to practise wellness”.

Meanwhile contact the Health Ministry or your nearest health facility for more information regarding screenings, or email


LDS Charity Assists Penang Sangam Primary School

LDS Charity Assists Penang Sangam Primary School

Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Ms Veena Bhatnagar with Mr & Mrs Stanford and the children of Penang Sangam Primary School.



Penang Sangam Primary School hosted a colourful event to welcome the donation of desks and chairs from the Latter Day Saints (LDS) charity after the school suffered massive damage during TC Winston.

This timely donation was received by the Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Hon Veena Bhatnagar who was also a former scholar of this school.

Mrs Bhatnagar acknowledged the kind gesture of the LDS Charity and particularly Brother Frank Stanford who worked tirelessly to secure the donation from New Zealand.

“I thank the LDS Charity for this wonderful assistance for the benefit of the children of Penang Sangam School, as we need such good Samaritans to care for the needy and the disadvantaged,’ said Mrs Bhatnagar.

Brother Frank Stanford of the LDS Charity said he was pleased to assist the school as he was bound by duty to reach out to the needy.

“I do this as your humble servant and this is a small token to boost the educational welfare of the children of Penang Sangam Primary school,” added Mr Stanford.

The school head teacher Mr Rajesh Kumar acknowledged the donation and conveyed his appreciation to the LDS charity.

“This donation will definitely make an impact on the children’s education and we are very fortunate to have been the chosen one as our school suffered almost 95% of damage from the monster disaster.” Mr Kumar said.

The donation included 280 desks, 30 swivel chairs, 3 smart boards, 2 tables all worth approximately $10,000.