MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 3:30PM 29/05/13

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1.?????PRESIDENT TO BESTOW HONORS TO FIJI?- His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau as Chancellor of the Order of Fiji will be bestowing awards in an investiture ceremony?tomorrow?afternoon.

 

2.?????FIJI CALLS FOR REGIONAL STRATEGY TO ADDRESS LEPTOSPIROSIS?-?The formulation of a cross-sectoral strategy on the prevention and control of leptospirosis is envisioned to enable Fiji and regional countries to take a lead role in progressing a national strategy and a regional strategy for the prevention and control of leptospirosis.

 

3.?????FIJI CALLS ON REGIONAL SUPPORT TO ELIMINATE LEPTOSPIROSI?- In its efforts to eliminate or prevent leptospirosis in Fiji, the Ministry of Agriculture has called on the support of regional countries to assist in areas of research.

 

4.?????NATIONAL WORKSHOP DWELLS ON CULTURAL DIVERSITY?- A national workshop is currently underway in Suva to evaluate whether Fiji sees the need to sign and ratify the 2005 UNESCO Convention on Diversity of Cultural Expression.

 

1?PRESIDENT TO BESTOW HONORS TO FIJI

 

His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau as Chancellor of the Order of Fiji will be bestowing awards in an investiture ceremony?tomorrow?afternoon.

 

Amongst those that will be conferred medals from the President include the retired archbishop of the Catholic Church in Fiji, Petero Mataca who will be bestowed with the?Officer of the Order of Fiji.?Paralympic gold medallist, Iliesa Delana will also be conferred the?Medal of the Order of Fiji.

 

The investiture ceremony will take place at Government House and will be witnessed by family members and other officials from the private and public sector.

 

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2?FIJI CALLS FOR REGIONAL STRATEGY TO ADDRESS LEPTOSPIROSIS

 

The formulation of a cross-sectoral strategy on the prevention and control of leptospirosis is envisioned to enable Fiji and regional countries to take a lead role in progressing a national strategy and a regional strategy for the prevention and control of leptospirosis.

 

Speaking at the International Expert Meeting to control leptospirosis, the Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister?s Office Pio Tikoduadua said that the process of formulating a cross sectoral strategy on the prevention and control of leptospirosis in Fiji will be a first for the region.

 

?Fiji recognises that there is no prevailing regional or country strategy on leptospirosis in the Western Pacific region,? PS Tikoduadua said.

 

?Formulating a National Strategic Plan on Leptospirosis Prevention and Control for Fiji will be a first for the small Pacific Nation of the Pacific and perhaps also the Western Pacific Region.?

 

The permanent secretary also pointed out that such a plan is envisioned to afford Fiji and the region the committed expertise and funding that it needs to concertedly and sustainably prevent and control the disease.

 

?The Peoples Charter for Change Peace and Progress through Pillar 10 also reaffirms Government commitment to improving health? service delivery,?

 

Mr Tikoduadua added that the Fiji Ministry of Health in recognising the burden of leptospirosis on the population has allocated substantial clinical and public health budgetary funds each year for the control of the disease.

 

?A National Taskforce for the Control of Communicable Disease was established by the Ministry of Health charged with developing the best evidence based prevention and control strategy and the relevant policies for the different outbreak prone CDs including leptospirosis,? PS Tikoduadua said.

 

World Health Organisation representative in the Pacific, Dr Dongil Ahn said that the importance of leptospirosis was brought into clear focus in 2012 following widespread flooding in the Western Division due to Cyclone Ami in Jan and Cyclone Daphne in March.

 

?I would like to acknowledge a great effort of central and local government in Fiji in their response to this large leptospirosis outbreak,? Dr Ahn said.

 

?A number of key steps were taken which included the establishment of a National Taskforce to provide technical guidance to health centre and hospitals and the implementation of a community awareness campaign to highlight the symptoms of leptospirosis and to encourage early health-seeking behaviour.?

 

The two day workshop ends?tomorrow.

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3?FIJI CALLS ON REGIONAL SUPPORT TO ELIMINATE LEPTOSPIROSIS

 

In its efforts to eliminate or prevent leptospirosis in Fiji, the Ministry of Agriculture has called on the support of regional countries to assist in areas of research.

 

The Ministry?s permanent secretary, Ropate Ligairi made these comments at the Leptospirosis Expert Summit held at Novotel in Lami today.

 

Mr Ligairi said the ministry has plans to restart a research program that will focus on reducing the number of cases.

 

?This research may also indicate possible interventions such as vaccination in the animal populations to further reduce human exposure to leptospirosis early interventions must take place at animal reservoir,? Mr Ligairi said.

 

?We are planning to look at the effects of leptospirosis on animal production as this is an unknown field in Fiji.?

 

He added that reducing the prevalence of leptospirosis in livestock maybe additional benefits beyond reducing risks to people by boosting productivity for food production.

 

Mr Ligairi hopes that through this workshop, countries will be able to formulate an action plan for future research in eradicating leptospirosis in Fiji and the region.

 

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4?NATIONAL WORKSHOP DWELLS ON CULTURAL DIVERSITY

A national workshop is currently underway in Suva to evaluate whether Fiji sees the need to sign and ratify the 2005 UNESCO Convention on Diversity of Cultural Expression.

Speaking at the opening of the two-day workshop, Minister for Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts, Filipe Bole said the UNESCO Convention revolves around the ?essence of culture as a vector of development in the society today?.

Mr Bole said that the cultural and creative industries make up more than 3 per cent of the global gross domestic product (GDP) which is an indication that cultural diversity holds keys to releasing the creative energies societies need today.

?The national workshop is timely with development of the cultural policy project by the Department of National Heritage, Culture and Arts working in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) as the ratification of the Convention would provide the right of the state parties to enact their own cultural expression and facilitating cultural cooperation for development through strengthening cultural industries in Fiji,? Mr Bole said.

Mr Bole said cultural goods and services have the potential to be significant drivers of economic growth.

?Cultural sector in Fiji represents a wealth of traditions that span from ancient practices to contemporary cultural expressions. However, the greatest challenge we have in the cultural industry today is the lack of coordination and poor communication between market players, producers and policy makers.?

The minister expressed his determination to see that work on cultural statistics framework by relevant government agencies would be finalised soon so that policy makers in the public and private sector could fully appreciate and provide the necessary investment to support this area.

?The workshop is an excellent opportunity to engage the experts on this convention to get specific details on how it can benefit Fiji in addressing some of these challenges.

?Cultural industries in Fiji remain informal and disorganised which leads to missed opportunities for business growth. It is hoped that upon the ratification of the convention, necessary measures are put in place to provide an enabling environment for the industry to flourish,? Mr Bole added.

Mr Bole also highlighted Fiji?s commitment as a State party to the 1972 Convention on World Heritage that will soon see the historic town of Levuka inscribed in the world heritage listing.

Fiji is also working on the formulation of a cultural industry strategy to enhance the protection of cultural diversity in the country.

The workshop will end?tomorrow.

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