A view of the hospital. Photo: MARGARET NAQIRI.
29 April 2014. Visiting Australian Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Brett Mason opened the newly renovated Specialist Outpatient Department and Child Health Clinic at Sigatoka Hospital on Tuesday 29 April.
“A healthy population lies at the heart of any form of development. In alignment with Australia’s support for the Millennium Development Goals, the strengthening of primary health services is a pillar of our development assistance to Fiji,” Senator Mason said.
The $200,000 renovation, funded by the Australian Government through its Fiji Health Sector Support Program (FHSSP), will improve health care standards for the 53,000 people of the Nadroga/Navosa Sub-Division.
“The Government of Fiji and Ministry of Health are very grateful for Australian aid delivered through DFAT, for tangibly assisting in addressing non-communicable diseases. The Western Pacific has been hard hit by NCDs – we are recording a high prevalence and increasing incidence of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, stroke, mental ill-health and cancers,” said Minister for Health Dr Neil Sharma.
“Logistic and grassroots support is greatly in need in Fiji and the Pacific to contain the crisis. The refurbished unit in Sigatoka will become a beacon of hope for the large Nadroga and Navosa province,” Dr Sharma added.
Renovation work included a weather-protected waiting area for patients, a disability accessible lavatory, private assessment and treatment rooms, a staff kitchen, general repair and maintenance, and the provision of NCD screening equipment.
“The newly renovated clinic at the Sigatoka Sub-Divisional Hospital is one important step towards improved service delivery to the people of Nadroga/Navosa, particularly people living with diabetes and sick children under five,” said Dr Rosalina Banuve, FHSSP Program Director.
According to Dr Banuve this is part of an ongoing partnership between FHSSP and Fiji’s Ministry of Health to improve health services through a range of mechanisms including developing clinical practice guidelines; training doctors and nurses to implement these guidelines; procuring essential equipment and improving health information systems.
As Australia’s flagship health program in Fiji, FHSSP works closely with the Ministry of Health to improve the health outcomes of mothers and children, address non-communicable diseases and strengthen health systems.