- HEALTH MINISTRY COMMITTED TO ADDRESSING RHEUMATIC HEART DISEASE – The Ministry of Health and Medical Services remains committed to making further progress towards addressing Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) in Fiji.
- SKILLS TRAINING FOR LAWAKI WOMEN – The Integrated Human Resource Development (IHRDP) assistance towards a bakery in Lawaki village, Tailevu has provided more than 20 women the opportunity to learn the skills of baking and setting up business for the future.
- LIVE HEALTHY, STAY HEALTHY FIJI – The Live Healthy, Stay Healthybooklet is the latest addition to Fiji’s wellness movement in the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as diabetes and heart disease.
- HEALTH MINISTRY COMMITTED TO ADDRESSING RHEUMATIC HEART DISEASE
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services remains committed to making further progress towards addressing Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) in Fiji.
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has formalized its relationship with Cure Kids New Zealand as partners and co-founders on the next phase of the $5 million (approx.) RHD Control and Prevention Program.
The Hon. Minister for Health and Medical Services, Mr Jone Usamate said, “RHD is an area of concern as it often affects young people between the ages of 4-19. To address child mortality and morbidity, the Health Ministry and the Government, over the past 5 years, has developed programs to build capacity, strengthen health systems and improve care for our children and adults.”
The Programme has observed a significant increase in the number of registered patients over the period January to June 2015. This is the result of a national clinic audit being carried out by the RHD Program team.
The RHD Program has benefitted from a variety of innovative approaches and partnerships and the Health Ministry is grateful for the support received from the public and private sector.
Through this partnership, Mr Usamate said that the Health Ministry will be focusing on health system strengthening for RHD.
“Work is underway to ensure that our primary health care system is able to diagnose and manage rheumatic fever and RHD. An early case detection model is in development for implementation and we are looking at effectively managing and utilizing program data for further strategic planning in addressing RHD”.
The New Zealand Partnerships for International Development Fund is a major contributor to the Program along with the technical support provided by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Auckland District Health Board.
Since 2009, including the current program, Cure Kids Fiji has supported RHD activities through ongoing funding support from foundation key partner Accor Hotels and support from FIJI Water Foundation. Work on the Fiji RHD Prevention and Control Program has been ongoing since 2005.
Addressing this health issue is important as it affects many children as young as 5 years of age as well as adults. Overcrowded housing and poor hygiene are some factors that can contribute to a person’s risk of developing RHD.
RHD is a chronic heart condition caused by rheumatic fever that can be prevented and controlled. If a child has a sore throat it might be caused by Group A Streptococcal infection, often referred to as Strep throat and if not treated can cause Rheumatic fever. This can lead to long term damage to the heart.
Meanwhile, the RHD Program has moved office to the Wellness Center and is now part of the strategic work and activities of the Wellness Unit.
- SKILLS TRAINING FOR LAWAKI WOMEN
The Integrated Human Resource Development (IHRDP) assistance towards a bakery in Lawaki village, Tailevu has provided more than 20 women the opportunity to learn the skills of baking and setting up business for the future.
This project was funded by the IHRDP with total funding of $79,042.62 and it has provided employment for the women of Lawaki village.
Lawaki villager, Capetu Ratabau said since the inception of the bakery women have been provided the opportunity to learn basic baking skills and setting up their own businesses for the future.
“Since it’s a voluntary exercise, we (women) are involved in shift work at the bakery just to learn the skill of baking and maybe in future setup similar business for income generating purposes for our families,” Ratabau said.
“We supply bread to the nearby schools and villages in the Tailevu province.”
IHRDP Manager Aslam Khan said the main purpose of the bakery was to provide local employment for the villagers and engage women in skill training.
“The bakery previously used to supply three dozen loaves of bread a day but due to the local demand we have managed to increase the supply and recorded good returns. We are also looking at purchasing new machines because with the current ones we are using gas and this is expensive,” Mr Khan said.
Lawaki bakery manager, Apisai Bati said the training has been useful and is an eye opener for the villagers.
“We have realised that we have the man-power and the skills and government is giving us first hand opportunity to work on such projects so that we can have improve our standard of living,” Mr Bati said.
“We also plan to expand our business in the future and increase our supply to meet the demands of for our customers.”
- LIVE HEALTHY, STAY HEALTHY FIJI
The Live Healthy, Stay Healthy booklet is the latest addition to Fiji’s wellness movement in the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as diabetes and heart disease.
This follows the partnership between the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the National Food and Nutrition Centre to release a new resource which aims to inspire healthy Fijian lifestyles.
Live Healthy, Stay Healthy is unique and different from other health resources as it comes in the form of a ‘wellness challenge’.
The Hon. Minister for Health and Medical Services, Mr Jone Usamate said, “This booklet challenges people to eat two servings of fruit, three servings of vegetables and to be active for 30 minutes every day. There is also a health checklist for people to monitor their progress and the challenge empowers people to take charge of their personal health and wellness”.
“By striving towards these three challenges every day, people can lower their blood pressure and blood cholesterol, control their blood sugar and improve their fitness to help fight off and control diabetes and heart disease”.
Previous versions of Live Healthy, Stay Healthy have been distributed to complement the Ministry’s health screenings to great success. It included guides to show what, and how much people should be eating, healthy drink options, achieving calorie balance for a healthy weight, using heart friendly flavours. The latest version has lots of healthy additions including the Sit Less, Move More five week physical activity program, a mental well-being check and guides to quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake.
The booklets will be distributed by health centres, nurses, dieticians and health work workers throughout the country to complement existing health screening and patient counselling services. The booklets can be used to help people reduce their risk factors for developing NCD’s as well as to help those people with diabetes and heart disease control their conditions.
The booklet focuses on promoting healthy eating and exercise as well as improving mental health and avoiding harmful substances such as tobacco and alcohol.