MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 21/05/14 4:30PM

 

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1.?MINISTER FOR HEALTH APPOINTED AS NEW VICE CHAIR OF THE 67TH WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY?-?Advancements in health technology, health care, improved health service delivery, and Fiji?s continued engagement in the international arena of medicine to provide the best possible medical care for the country has paid dividends with the appointment of the Minister for Health, Dr Neil Sharma as the new vice chair of the 67th World Health Assembly in Geneva.

2.?MINISTRY PROMOTES AGLIME TO INCREASE FARM PRODUCTIVITY?-?The Ministry of Agriculture aims to drive the country?s economy through agriculture by increasing farm productivity through the use of Aglime (Agricultural lime).

3.?ELITE NURSING SQUAD INITIATIVE TO IMPROVE NURSING PRACTICE?-?The Ministry of Health, in its focus to continuously improve professionalism and ethics in the nursing practice, has formed an Elite Nursing Squad.


1.?MINISTER FOR HEALTH APPOINTED AS NEW VICE CHAIR OF THE 67TH WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY

Advancements in health technology, health care, improved health service delivery, and Fiji?s continued engagement in the international arena of medicine to provide the best possible medical care for the country has paid dividends with the appointment of the Minister for Health, Dr Neil Sharma as the new vice chair of the 67th World Health Assembly in Geneva.

Dr Sharma was nominated ahead of many other Asian and Pacific countries for the position of Vice Chairperson of the World Health Assembly (WHA) and has now been selected to represent the Western Pacific Regional Office.

This position has been granted in recognition of Dr Sharma?s international standing for diligence and vision in healthcare.

Meanwhile, progress of developments and strengthened health processes established at different levels of the Ministry, has placed Fiji in a comfortable bargaining position for the Western Pacific Region in its new position as the Vice Chair of the organisation.

Fiji as a developing country has yet again achieved the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, in terms of addressing and reducing child mortality and improving maternal health to name a few.

A lot of hard work has transpired over the past five years, not only on major health reforms but also in the development of health policies, medical infrastructure, medical equipment and technology and human resource.

As part of the meetings in Geneva, Dr Sharma chaired a session where discussions on climate change, health impacts, communicable diseases (CD) and non-communicable diseases were on the agenda.

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2.?MINISTRY PROMOTES AGLIME TO INCREASE FARM PRODUCTIVITY

The Ministry of Agriculture aims to drive the country?s economy through agriculture by increasing farm productivity through the use of Aglime (Agricultural lime).

In order to achieve that, a workshop was recently organised by the Market Development Facility and the Standard Concrete Industries to familiarise the staff of the Ministry on the benefits of Aglime.

Ministry permanent secretary Ropate Ligairi during the official opening of the workshop acknowledged the initiative made by the Standard Concrete Industries for crushed limestone to be used for soil treatment.

?Soils tend to become acidic from heavy use of nitrogen containing fertilizers, unless a soil conditioner is used,? Mr Ligairi said.

?Using Aglime, ?lime?, or agricultural lime, a finely-ground limestone or dolomite, can change the soil chemical properties from being acidic to near neutral.?

?This benefits the end product in reducing toxic elements such as aluminum and manganese effects?, thus promoting soil microbe activity, improves soil structure and maximizes the availability of nutrients for plant growth,? he added.

Research and studies confirmed that most soils in Fiji are acidic therefore lime is needed to correct the soil pH (acidity level) to maximize crop yields.

As such, Mr Ligairi encouraged the agriculture ministry staff and farmers through this awareness program to understand the importance of Aglime in agricultural production.

He also encouraged participants to know how to use Aglime in the field and why it is necessary to do soil tests in order to know the recommendations of how much Aglime needs to be used.

?Aglime benefits us in many ways, it improves yield which literally increases production level which then trickles to the reduction of agricultural imports and the subsequent increase in agricultural export,? he said.

?The concern by farmers on the increase in production costs in terms of chemical fertilizers input will be addressed through the application of Aglime because it is cheaper.?

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3.?ELITE NURSING SQUAD INITIATIVE TO IMPROVE NURSING PRACTICE

The Ministry of Health, in its focus to continuously improve professionalism and ethics in the nursing practice, has formed an Elite Nursing Squad.

The main objective of this group is to adequately train a cohort of nurses, who will role model the concept of professionalism and ethical practice in the delivery of nursing services in the country.

This initiative is also envisaged to address patient complaints more effectively to allow better responses to patient needs.

To date over 80 nurses have been trained in the three divisional hospitals and a number of sub-divisional hospitals in the country of which 25 nurses were from the CWMH and Central Division, 30 from Lautoka Hospital and the Western Division and 25 from Labasa Hospital and the Northern Division.

The training which was convened over a three day period in April, 2014 basically covered contents such as Professionalism & Ethics, Psychology, Service Excellence and Customer Care.

The trained officers have been deployed to various units and wards in the three divisional hospitals to influence their colleagues on these pertinent nursing concepts.

These officers would also be the major nursing support group to the Ministry?s overseas visiting teams.

The Ministry will continuously evaluate this training?s impact on nursing practice and patient care and is planning to conduct such trainings in future.

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