- WOMEN’S GROUP ENCOURAGED ON HEALTH ISSUES – The Hon. Assistant Minister for Health & Medical Services Mrs Veena Bhatnagar today encouraged women to pay more attention to their health.
- PLANS IN THE PIPELINE TO ESTABLISH FIJI’S FIRST NATIONAL HELPLINE FOR WOMEN – The Ministry for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation is working towards establishing Fiji’s First Helpline for women that will address issues like domestic violence.
- MINISTRY AND COUNCIL PARTNERS TO DEVELOP A NEW SENIOR CITIZENS PARK – The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation has partnered with the Lami Town Council to build a modern facility in Lami which will incorporate a new park for senior citizens.
- MINISTER KOYA LAUNCHES EXPORTER AWARDS – The Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year Awards has provided the encouragement needed to achieve maximum growth and success, says Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Hon. Faiyaz Koya.
- WOMEN’S GROUP ENCOURAGED ON HEALTH ISSUES
The Hon. Assistant Minister for Health & Medical Services Mrs Veena Bhatnagar today encouraged women to pay more attention to their health.
Assistant Minister Bhatnagar was addressing women and other invited guests at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Soroptomist International Sigatoka.
“Each and every girl and woman must ensure that everyone in the family is screened for NCD. This means eye check, dental check, sugar, pressure and cholesterol checks, cancer check, “said Mrs Bhatnagar.
“A check a year is essential for the prevention and control of NCD. This health seeking behaviour needs to be emphasized so that Fijians don’t wait until they are sick before they come to us. We want to check Fijians while you are well”.
The Health Ministry has noted that not all Fijians smoke, drink alcohol or exercise. However all Fijians do eat irrespective of age, colour, gender, religion or economic status, hence eating and drinking is the main risk factor that needs to be controlled.
Mrs Bhatnagar added, “Let’s all commit ourselves to lead and live a healthy life. The Ministry of Health is involved in a high level program of action, awareness and advocacy. We continue to intensify our campaign to promote healthy lifestyles within our communities”.
Meanwhile, the Hon. Assistant Minister for Health & Medical Services also launched the Soroptimist International Sigatoka 20th Anniversary magazine.
The Soroptimist International Sigatoka has worked on various health related projects.
- PLANS IN THE PIPELINE TO ESTABLISH FIJI’S FIRST NATIONAL HELPLINE FOR WOMEN
The Ministry for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation is working towards establishing Fiji’s First Helpline for women that will address issues like domestic violence.
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Hon. Rosy Akbar says the women’s helpline would work parallel to the National Child Helpline that is proving to be a success. The Ministry in partnership with Medical Services Pacific, Vodafone, Digicel and Telecom Fiji Limited launched Fiji’s National Child Helpline in April this year.
“Plans are in the pipeline to develop a similar helpline for the women, so that they can report cases and seek information and assistance when dealing with cases of domestic violence. There is a need for such a platform to be created. Once the helpline is in place, women can just pick up their phone and dial the toll free number to get advice, assistance of the professional counsellors.
“The child helpline that was launched three months ago has to date received positive reports, well over 1800 calls were made by the children and parents, seeking for information and advice on child welfare issues,” Minister Akbar said.
The Minister for Women also reiterated on the need for a collaborative approach to address the issues of violence.
“To battle domestic violence in Fiji, requires a coordinated effort and partnership between Government Ministries and Departments, Non-Government Organizations and Faith Based Organisations along with the communities.
“There is a need to understand the existing legislations and laws like Domestic Violence Decree, Child Welfare Decree which is in already place. It’s also important that communities are made aware of the procedures to access legal services. With this the Ministry works in partnership with existing stakeholders to provide information and training programs to stop violence,” Minister Akbar explained.
The Ministry’s strengthened partnership with Fiji Police also aims to intensify efforts to tackle issues like domestic violence and child abuse.
“The Ministry in cooperation with Fiji Police and other agencies have successfully declared 39 communities as violence free while 50 other communities are working towards the declaration phase. There will be an evaluation of the Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign to further enhance the program.
“A Memorandum of Understanding will be signed later this year between the Ministry and the Fiji Police which will ensure greater urgency is placed when responding to cases of domestic violence and to ensure that the No Drop Policy is complied with at all times. The Ministry is reaching out to women by educating them on the reporting procedures. More awareness would result into increased reporting,” Minister Akbar said.
- MINISTRY AND COUNCIL PARTNERS TO DEVELOP A NEW SENIOR CITIZENS PARK
The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation has partnered with the Lami Town Council to build a modern facility in Lami which will incorporate a new park for senior citizens.
This follows a meeting held this week between the Minister Hon. Rosy Akbar and Lami Town Council Special Administrator Mr Jasper Singh at the Ministry’s headquarters in Suva.
Mr Singh said the facility will be built following the extension of Tikaram Park which is currently located in Lami.
“The Council has received positive support from its stakeholders into developing this park which will have a modern look, yet it will maintain the traditional Fijian architecture designs as well. The facilities in the park will be very user friendly to senior citizens and disabled persons.
“It will house the recreational facilities, like an outdoor cinema. Some of the other key facilities available at the senior citizens park will include a barbecue area, water fountains, swimming pool, walkways, public convenience, changing room, swimming pool, benches, car parks, solar street lights, with the possibility of having free wi-fi internet access in the park,” Mr Singh said.
He said the construction work is expected to start in August this year.
“The Council is looking forward to the partnership with various stakeholders, to get a local concept for this park. There are plans to have a lookout bay overseeing the views of Suva City. The plan is to have the new park ready by Christmas this year,” Mr Singh explained.
Minister Akbar acknowledged the Lami Town Council for coming up with this plan to develop such a unique facility for the senior citizens.
“This is a wonderful project and it complements the Ministry’s vision in creating an inclusive and enabling society for senior citizens in Fiji. As part of our partnership, the Ministry will liaise with its existing stakeholders to look at ways it can contribute towards supporting this initiative.
“The National Council for Older Persons also looks forward to increased partnership with the town councils and the Ministry of Local Government to develop similar facilities to meet the aspirations of senior citizens in Fiji,” Minister Akbar said.
The National Council for Older Persons (NCOP) was established in July last year and is an umbrella body that incorporates the services of all the Non-Government Organisations, Faith Based Organisations working for the empowerment of senior citizens in Fiji.
- MINISTER KOYA LAUNCHES EXPORTER AWARDS
The Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year Awards has provided the encouragement needed to achieve maximum growth and success, says Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Hon. Faiyaz Koya.
Launching the awards last night, Minister Koya said in its 22 years history, the Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year awards had led the exporters towards innovation, creation and enthusiasm to reach new markets and improve products.
“The Exporters of the Year Awards is not just a celebration for achievement, it is a symbol of the dynamism and boldness that has taken hold in our business community,” he said to the captains of industries gathered for the launch.
Minister Koya commended the theme of this year’s awards “Partnering for Global Success” as it fits well with Fiji’s public-private partnership that has elevated the country in both regional and international trade.
He said while the exporters have the ideas and the drive to export, to find markets, it is Government’s job to create a conducive environment to facilitate business growth.
The fact that Government has done just that can be attributed to the unprecedented growth experienced by the Fijian economy in the past six years, Minister Koya highlighted.
He said it was projected that the Fijian economy will grow by 4.3 per cent and foreign reserves are at a strong position as it stands at $1.997 billion which was sufficient to cover five months of imports of goods and non-factor services.
Similarly for exports, the trade minister said it had risen by 11.5 per cent in 2014 or $2.1b and this is expected to grow further in 2015.
“The conditions are perfect for our exporters to invest, reinvest, expand and diversify further and take advantage of the various manufacturing and export incentives provided by the Government,” Mr Koya said.
Westpac Bank is the major sponsor and contributed $100,000 to the awards that will be presented to 12 of Fiji’s foremost exporters in various categories.
The awards will be administered by Investment Fiji and also present during the launch were Investment Fiji chairman, Truman Bradley and chief executive officer, Mr Godo Muller-Teut as well as Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism permanent secretary Mr Shaheen Ali.