DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 15/04/15 5:30PM

1. Healthy islands concept adressed at pacific regional meet – Health Ministers representing 12 Pacific island countries are meeting in Yanuca Island to re-look at the ?healthy islands? concept, which was coined on Yanuca in 1995.

2. NAKASI COMMUNITY COMMENDS GOVERNMENT FOR MAKING EDUCATION EASILY ACCESSIBLE – Members of the community and nearby residents of Nakasi have lauded the opening of the Nasinu Muslim Primary School classroom block by the Prime Minister Hon. Voreqe Bainimarama.

3. SUGAR WORKSHOP FOR GOVERNMENT AGENCIES – The Ministry of Sugar Industry is currently coordinating a workshop aimed at soliciting a greater buy-in from Government Agencies and non-Government entities on reforms currently underway for the benefit of the Industry.

4. FREE MEDICINE FORMS SHOULD BE VERIFIED BEFORE SIGNING BY THE JP?S – The Ministry of Health and Medical services is advising all Justice of the Peace (JP?s) around the country to properly verify the income mentioned in the Free medicine application form.

5. PLANS TO ESTABLISH A SEAWEED FARMING TRAINING SCHOOL – Plans are in the pipeline to establish a training school for seaweed farming in the Northern division.

6. Pharmaceutical Supplies Received for Vanuatu – The Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management permanent secretary, Mr Setareki Tale, this week received pharmaceutical supplies from Pharmatec Limited that will be directed towards relief efforts in Vanuatu.

7. VILLAGERS REMINDED OF GOVERNMENT?S COMMITMENT TOWARDS RURAL DEVELOPMENT – Commissioner Eastern Luke Moroivalu reminded the villagers of Cikobia that Government remains committed to developing infrastructure in rural communities and make basic resources and services available.

1 Healthy islands concept adressed at pacific regional meet

Health Ministers representing 12 Pacific island countries are meeting in Yanuca Island to re-look at the ?healthy islands? concept, which was coined on Yanuca in 1995.

The meeting also marks 21 years since the signing of the ?Yanuca Declaration? which recognizes the rapid change in social and economic conditions affecting the quality of life and health in Pacific Island Countries.

The meeting was opened by the Fijian President H.E Ratu Epeli Nailatikau who challenged the Ministers to re-ignite the healthy islands? vision and continue to articulate their commitments through consistent health development policies.

Fiji?s Health Minister and Chair of the meeting Hon. Jone Usamate delivered the opening remarks and highlighted the importance of a collective commitment by Pacific leaders in addressing regional health concerns.

?This meeting will review the progress and development made over the past 20 years. It will also set a future strategic direction in health leadership and development in the Pacific?, the Minister said.

Also participating at this weeklong meet are regional organisations, non-government organisations, and civil society organisations.

?The Pacific today is a different place than it was 20 years ago, and our region faces a multitude of challenges. We have an opportunity to build on the progress already achieved in Pacific health through increased cooperation between governments, non-governmental organisations, civil society and the private sector, to work together to improve the lives of all Pacific people,? said the Secretariat of the South Pacific’s director general, Dr Colin Tukuitonga.

?Working together, we can make the Healthy Islands vision a reality for our children.? remarked WHO?s Regional Director for the Western Pacific Region, Dr Shin Young-soo.

(Photos from this event can be accessed at our Facebook Page)


2 NAKASI COMMUNITY COMMENDS GOVERNMENT FOR MAKING EDUCATION EASILY ACCESSIBLE

Members of the community and nearby residents of Nakasi have lauded the opening of the Nasinu Muslim Primary School classroom block by the Prime Minister Hon. Voreqe Bainimarama.

The $670,000 8-classroom block is a joint initiative by the Fiji Muslim League, the Islamic Development Bank and the Fijian government.

Commending government?s contribution of $200,000 the Principal of Nasinu Muslim Primary School, Mohammed Hussain said that the building of the 8-classroom block will cater for more than 300 students.

?This classroom block will cater for 320 students particularly the Year 5, 7 and 8 and I am thankful to the government of the day for giving a substantial amount of grant that has been used for the construction of these classrooms,? Mr Hussain said.

Nakasi resident and former head girl of the Nasinu Muslim Primary School, Farhana Khan said that today was a happy occasion for her.

?It is a proud moment for me personally today as I look back and remember my former school days here and how things have changed over the years with this new building Mrs Khan said.

?This is a well constructed building and I am thankful and appreciative of this joint initiative of investing in the future of our children.?

Prime Minister Bainimarama also urged students at Nasinu Muslim Primary School to take advantage of government?s education reforms such as the free tuition, scholarships and breakfast programme.

?As I often say: Nothing gives me more pleasure as Prime Minister than to see the beaming faces of our young people in schools like this,? PM Bainimarama said.

?To see the difference we are making in their lives and the lives of their families. Giving more Fijians than ever before genuine opportunities to improve their circumstances in partnership with faith-based organisations like your own.?

Nasinu Muslim Primary School has a school roll of 900 students.

(Photos from this event can be accessed at our Facebook Page)

3 SUGAR WORKSHOP FOR GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

The Ministry of Sugar Industry is currently coordinating a workshop aimed at soliciting a greater buy-in from Government Agencies and non-Government entities on reforms currently underway for the benefit of the Industry.

The Workshop that is tentatively scheduled for April 28th and 29th has invited speakers from eight Government Ministries and eight non-government entities.

The Ministry?s acting permanent secretary Mr Parmesh Chand said that the Workshop is timely and important. It demonstrates the resolve of Government that all relevant agencies and stakeholders need to be mobilised and energised to work together in implementing changes to make our sugar industry more efficient and competitive.

There is already a lot of work happening in making lives of those living in the cane belt and rural areas more conducive and attractive in terms of improved infrastructure such as roads, access to electricity and clean drinking water and pursuance of alternative livelihood opportunities.

?Through combined inputs, presentations, discussions and information sharing, we will be able to co-ordinate better for improved impact and results?, Mr Chand said.

Mr Chand said that the Fijian Government is firmly committed to seeing that cane farming continues to remain viable and sustainable and that those living in rural farming communities are not in any way deprived of the various forms of assistance available to them.

He said that improved collaboration and coordination amongst the various stakeholders within Government will allow for improved service delivery to the ordinary cane farmer and also for the benefit of the Sugar industry as a whole.

4 FREE MEDICINE FORMS SHOULD BE VERIFIED BEFORE SIGNING BY THE JP?S

The Ministry of Health and Medical services is advising all Justice of the Peace (JP?s) around the country to properly verify the income mentioned in the Free medicine application form.

This is to ensure that the forms are correctly filled and the applicants are eligible to receive the medicines from the Health Facilities and the designated private pharmacies.

Such practices will expedite the verification process and people will be issued with ID cards much earlier.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services conveys its appreciation to all JP?s for the valuable support.

Meanwhile all eligible persons are advised to fill the application forms which are available at all health facilities and submit the completed forms, which are clearly legible (able to be read) to stations where they can collect the cards.


5 PLANS TO ESTABLISH A SEAWEED FARMING TRAINING SCHOOL

Plans are in the pipeline to establish a training school for seaweed farming in the Northern division.

Visiting villagers from Dama and Nasau in Bua, Vanua Levu for a follow-up meeting, the Department of Fisheries principal officer in the North Joji Vakawaletabua said that because of the high demand of seaweed from China, they are planning to train villagers to be able to learn the skills of seaweed farming.

?We have a market in China that now wants to buy 1000 tonnes of seaweed per month and this is why we want to encourage villagers to start seaweed farming and also establish a training school in order to train more to learn the skills,? Mr Vakawaletabua said.

?Some of the villagers in this division have already benefitted from this however we want everyone in the North to benefit from seaweed farming since its market is already available,? he said.

He said they exported 40 tonnes of seaweed this week and is hoping to export more with the help of the villagers.

?We have received word from our stakeholders that if we increase our seaweed products, then they will have no problems establishing a processing factory here however that all depends on the farmers on how they plan their work.?

?If this is done then the price of seaweed will increase which will not only benefit our economy but help villagers with developments of their own.?

Mr Vakawaletabua also urged the villagers to move forward and help in the rebuilding of the seaweed industry in the country.


6 Pharmaceutical Supplies Received for Vanuatu

The Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management permanent secretary, Mr Setareki Tale, this week received pharmaceutical supplies from Pharmatec Limited that will be directed towards relief efforts in Vanuatu.

In receiving the donations, Mr Tale thanked Pharmatec Limited for the timely assistance which would greatly assist health interventions in cyclone stricken Vanuatu. ?We are grateful for this donation from Pharmatec of Ba worth around $50,000 of medical supplies to be shipped to Vanuatu.????This will help assist those who were affected by Cyclone Pam?.

Mr Tale said that the supplies now add to many relief items that have been packed into 7 containers ready for shipment to Vanuatu this week.

The donation was made possible through negotiations by Government Member of Parliament, Hon. Alvick Maharaj with Pharmatec Limited.

This is the second pharmaceutical donation negotiated by MP Maharaj.

7 VILLAGERS REMINDED OF GOVERNMENT?S COMMITMENT TOWARDS RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Commissioner Eastern Luke Moroivalu reminded the villagers of Cikobia that Government remains committed to developing infrastructure in rural communities and make basic resources and services available.

At a talanoa session this week, Commissioner Moroivalu reminded the villagers that as Fijians, ?we need to move forward to ensure that developments takes place.?

?Government?s main role is to ensure that all Fijians have access to the same services like transport, clean drinking water, proper housing and education,? Mr Moroivalu said.

?The newly democratic government has been chosen and in order for development to take place we need to support government?s vision of rural development,? Mr Moroivalu said.

He highlighted that the main purpose of his eastern division tour is to assess where Government needs to improve in its services and look the challenges faced by Fijians living in the Division.

?There is potential in the maritime islands in terms of copra farming and other income generating projects that could be setup to support the livelihoods for the families,? he said.

?We need to work together and support government in their efforts to make Fiji a better place for the future,? he said.

Cikobia village headman Ledua Sele thanked government for providing the relevant services to the village of Cikobia.

PRESS RELEASE