MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 22/03/14 4:30PM

1. DOMINICA AND FIJI FORMALISE DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS – The Commonwealth of Dominica and the Republic of Fiji formalised diplomatic relations in a ceremony at the Fiji Mission to the United Nations in New York this week.

2. CLINICAL TRAINING TO STRENGTHEN FIJI’S RESPONSE TO DENGUE CASES – In a bid to collectively address the dengue situation in Fiji, the Ministry of Health with the assistance of the World Health Organisation carried out an intensive training program on strengthening clinical response to dengue cases in the country.

3. CIVIL SERVANTS GET TOGETHER FOR NATIONAL DENGUE CLEAN-UP CAMPAIGN –The third Saturday of the National Dengue Clean-Up campaign saw yet another good turn-out of civil servants cleaning various targeted areas in the Lami ? Nausori corridor today.

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1. DOMINICA AND FIJI FORMALISE DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS

The Commonwealth of Dominica and the Republic of Fiji formalised diplomatic relations in a ceremony at the Fiji Mission to the United Nations in New York this week.

At the ceremony, the Permanent Representative of Dominica to the United Nations, Ambassador Vince Henderson, and his Fijian counterpart, Ambassador Peter Thomson signed a joint communiqu? establishing diplomatic relations between the two nations.

The communiqu? expresses the desire of the Governments of Fiji and Dominica to promote and strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation between their two countries in political, economic, cultural, humanitarian and other fields.

It also states that diplomatic relations between Dominica and Fiji will be guided by the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter and international law, and that they are established in accordance with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

Following the formalisation ceremony, Ambassadors Henderson and Thomson held talks on areas of common interest between their two countries. Both countries are members of developing country groups such as G77 (the Group of 77 and China) and AOSIS (Alliance of Small Island States).

Ambassador Thomson reported on the steady progress being made towards Fiji?s 2014 general elections. Ambassador Henderson briefed Ambassador Thomson on the work Dominica is spearheading to channel donor funding into the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Dock facility established to help AOSIS countries with climate change adaptation measures in the field of renewable energy.

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2. CLINICAL TRAINING TO STRENGTHEN FIJI’S RESPONSE TO DENGUE CASES

In a bid to collectively address the dengue situation in Fiji, the Ministry of Health with the assistance of the World Health Organisation carried out an intensive training program on strengthening clinical response to dengue cases in the country.

While the training program is designed to strengthen current methods used to address dengue fever, similar guidelines put forward by the World Health Organisation and the Centre for Disease in Puerto Rico will boost the response mechanisms currently in place.

Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma pointed out that this combined training with clinicians from both the public and private sector pursues the Fijian Government’s commitment to reduce statistics.

“At the same time, the training is formatted in a way so that these medical personnel can quickly share their training and apply them to current cases,” Dr Sharma said.

“It is a combined effort that takes into account current practices merged with what both the WHO and CDS have presented. The training covered the principles of dengue management which was centred on understanding the clinical course of the disease with major emphasis on the critical period of the disease which would require very close patient monitoring for about 24 -48 hours after the initial fever or febrile phase of the disease.?

The minister is hopeful that the training has equipped participants to filter key information from the updated clinical management guidelines for dengue to their colleagues at the health centres around the country.

?The Ministry anticipates that this training-of-trainers initiative will further enhance the management of dengue fever cases, reducing the burden of illness and also fatalities amongst afflicted individuals in our communities.?

Dr Sharma highlighted that while the training will assist medical personnel in responding to both suspected and

diagnosed cases, members of the public need to continue in a more proactive approach.

“These trainings are response-based to tackle dengue fever. But the public can avoid contracting the virus by taking the precautionary steps and keeping compounds clean and destroying water-carrying vessels that are likely to breed mosquitoes,” Dr Sharma said.

People are also urged to seek immediate medical advice if they come across symptoms of dengue fever.

Close to 33 doctors and 30 senior nurses from the Ministry of Health as well as four doctors from the private health sector participated in the training program at the Colonial War Memorial (CWM) Hospital in Suva and in the Northern and Western divisions.

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3. CIVIL SERVANTS GET TOGETHER FOR NATIONAL DENGUE CLEAN-UP CAMPAIGN

The third Saturday of the National Dengue Clean-Up campaign saw yet another good turn-out of civil servants cleaning various targeted areas in the Lami ? Nausori corridor today.

Director DISMAC, Manasa Tagicakibau led staff of the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development in cleaning up Kalabu Industrial Tax Free zone and Valelevu area.

Mr Tagicakibau said the amount of tyres, unwanted water containers and other rubbish collected indicates that some people do not take the importance of cleaning up their surroundings seriously.

?We started cleaning-up at 7am and finished at 9am. There were about 30 of us engaged in the clean-up this week. We collected 34 bags of rubbish, which will be collected by the town council. There are some other people who also came out to help us,? Mr Tagicakibau said.

?The clean-up campaign is an encouraging initiative by the Fijian Government. It shows that government is taking the lead in tackling dengue. People must also play their part and join in the campaign because this is a disease affecting a lot of people out there.?

Namadi resident, 23 year old Jese Nuku was amongst Ministry of Youth and Sports staff cleaning up areas such as Vesivesi, Kaloa, Tavola, Pundit Maharaj, Velau Drive and Tivi Place in Kinoya, Nasinu.

Mr Nuku also participated in the clean-up campaign in Samabula last Saturday.

?The national dengue clean-up campaign is very helpful to the nation considering the number of people suffering from the disease. Dengue fever is something that we all should take seriously and act now. This clean-up campaign will help ensure that our surroundings are free of mosquito breeding sites,? Mr Nuku said.

Close to 30 staff from the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources also joined hands in combating the rise in dengue cases in Nadera.

Acting surveyor general, David Chang said they collected more than 20 tyres, which were collecting stagnant water.

?This just shows that people need to clean their compound and their surroundings to prevent the spread of dengue fever. We cleaned a lot of drains too where we collected bottles, containers, old broken buckets, tyres and cans,? Mr Chang said.

Mr Chang said they also engaged their ministry truck for the collection of rubbish in Reba Circle, Visato, Mualevu, Kuluvuto and Moala Settlement.

The focus of the national dengue clean-up campaign is on the search and removal of items such as empty drums, unused tyres, empty unused containers, coconut shells and manmade objects capable of holding stagnant water in them, which become easy breeding sites for dengue virus carrying mosquitoes.

Organised by the Ministry of Health, the national clean-up campaign was also carried out in the Western, Northern and Eastern divisions.

The campaign will end next Saturday 29th March, 2014.