- AMBASSADOR VISITS WHO DIRECTOR-GENERAL MARGARET CHAN – Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Nazhat Shameem Khan, paid a courtesy call on the Director-General of the World Health Organisation Margaret Chan today.
- FIJIAN YOUTHS WIN US $3,000 AT WORLD CULTURE CAMP – Fiji’s cultural performing dance group that recently participated at the 5th International Youth Fellowship World Cultural Camp in Busan received US $3,000 as Gold Medal performance winners.
- YOUTH MINISTER VISITS KOREAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY – The Minister for Youth and Sports Honourable Laisenia Tuitubou joined his counterparts from 50 countries and visited the Korean National Assembly yesterday.
- CONTACT DISTRICT OFFICERS: PUBLIC URGED – Communities and villages in the Western Division that are facing intermittent water supply or have dry water sources due to the current weather conditions are urged to contact their respective district officers.
- GOVERNMENT URGED TO CONTINUE WITH EDUCATIONAL GRANTS – Educational grants offered by Government should continue and external examinations should be reinstated into the education system.
- PRESIDENT COMMENDS HEALTH PROFESSIONALS – Health professionals have been commended for tackling women’s health issues in the Pacific and discussing on areas of reproductive health.
- HEALTH MINISTRY ADVISES PUBLIC ON CHICKENPOX – The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is advising the public to take precautions in preventing and controlling the spread of chickenpox.
- NORTH AGRICULTURE SHOW CONTINUES WITH AWARENESS ON IMPORTANCE OF SOIL – The 2015 Northern Agriculture Show continues in Labasa this week with land preparation and local food preparation demonstrations.
- AMBASSADOR VISITS WHO DIRECTOR-GENERAL MARGARET CHAN
Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Nazhat Shameem Khan, paid a courtesy call on the Director-General of the World Health Organisation Margaret Chan today.
They discussed Fiji’s priorities in health services, and ways in which Fiji could intensify its engagement with the WHO. Ambassador Khan told the Director-General of the close and constructive working relationship between Fiji and the Regional Office of the WHO in Suva.
However, she said that there was a need for Fiji as a Pacific Island nation, to increase the frequency and depth of its engagement with the WHO Headquarters in Geneva. She spoke of the need to ensure that the Pacific voice was heard more in negotiations in relation to climate change and heath, to efforts in reducing the incidence of non-communicable diseases, and in the implementation of the right to health which is now included in the Constitution of Fiji.
Ambassador Khan presented the Director-General with a copy of Fiji’s Constitution, and discussed with her the scope of the right to health services which is set out in the Bill of Rights.
Director-General Chan welcomed the Ambassador to her office and suggested ways in which Fijian and other Pacific Islanders could ensure that their voices are heard more effectively on health issues in Geneva.
She spoke warmly of Fiji’s many achievements in relation to health care and services, and said that she looked forward to engaging further with Fiji and the Pacific Small Island Developing States in the future.
The Ambassador was accompanied by First Secretary Ajendra Pratap.
- FIJIAN YOUTHS WIN US $3,000 AT WORLD CULTURE CAMP
Fiji’s cultural performing dance group that recently participated at the 5th International Youth Fellowship World Cultural Camp in Busan received US $3,000 as Gold Medal performance winners.
The group which consisted of members of the National Youth Band left Fiji last month to compete against cultural dance groups from the Peoples Republic of China, Philippines and two representative groups from India, South Korea and the Democratic Republic of Togo.
The Hon. Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou has shown his appreciation with the group’s achievement given the limited time of preparation they had.
“I am indeed very pleased with the results of the cultural performances because with little less than one month of preparations by the group and for them to achieve this is a great indicator for us,” he said.
“Winning the Gold Medal at this World Cultural Camp is an achievement that augurs well for the display of our culture and these youths as it is a major achievement because they showcased our culture to the world and have received its reward,” added Hon. Tuitubou.
He stated that with the achievement of this feat, next year’s preparations would be improved.
“At such an international event like this and following this accomplishment by our cultural dance group we will work to better it come next year,” Minister Tuitubou said.
The Philippines cultural performing dance group won the Major Prize of US $5,000 followed by Fiji with the Gold Medal and the Democratic Republic of Togo with Silver Medal and a prize of US $2,000.
- YOUTH MINISTER VISITS KOREAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The Minister for Youth and Sports Honourable Laisenia Tuitubou joined his counterparts from 50 countries and visited the Korean National Assembly yesterday.
As part of the 5th Ministers of Youth World Forum, the Youth Ministers were taken on a sight visit to the Parliamentary complex of the Republic of Korea.
Minister Tuitubou said that the visit offered an ideal opportunity to assess and learn from the Korean Parliamentary structure.
“At present there are efforts to strengthen ties between the Parliament of Fiji and the Republic of Korea,” he said.
“The visit presented us with an insight into the Parliamentary structure and affairs of the Korean National Assembly and also gave us the opportunity to learn from them,” said Minister Tuitubou.
“I also understand that a request has been made for the establishment of the Fiji/Korea Parliamentary Association which is aimed at fostering closer relations between our two parliaments.
Youth Ministers and representatives also met with Korea’s National Assembly’s Chairman of Financial Budgeting and Forecasting Committee Mr Jae Kyung Kim.
Mr Kim said that he was honoured that countries from around the world, including Fiji considered the National Assembly of Korea as a model parliament to aspire to.
“Being the 10th largest economy in the world and with approximately $400billion of budgeting a year, I think it is an honour for us to be held in such high regard by your governments,” said Mr Kim.
He added the Assembly had a lot to offer countries especially in administrative and parliamentary affairs.
The 5th Ministers of Youth World Forum will be held on Thursday 9th of July at Busan City.
- CONTACT DISTRICT OFFICERS: PUBLIC URGED
Communities and villages in the Western Division that are facing intermittent water supply or have dry water sources due to the current weather conditions are urged to contact their respective district officers.
Commissioner Western Manasa Tagicakibau says this will enable members of the public who have been affected to access water for free from the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF).
“The district office will then provide these communities with a slip that will enable them to receive free water from WAF and assist them in their supply,” he said.
“The slips would be provided for those that have transportation to transport the free water from the WAF supply bases to their communities.”
The practise is currently being carried out on mainland Viti Levu while those in the maritime islands of Yasawa and Mamanuca Group have a barge carting water to the villages and settlements.
“We are also working with the Government Shipping Services (GSS) for a barge to be based in Lautoka to assist us in improving the rate in which water is carted,” Mr Tagicakibau added.
Meanwhile, Mr Tagicakibau urged members of the public to refrain from abusing the service provided by WAF.
All dam levels around the country are reported safe.
- GOVERNMENT URGED TO CONTINUE WITH EDUCATIONAL GRANTS
Educational grants offered by Government should continue and external examinations should be reinstated into the education system.
These were some of the issues raised during the National Development Plan consultations held in Burebasaga village hall today.
Suvalailai village headman Josevata Tuitai suggested to the consultation team that the free educational grant offered by Government should continue.
“I would like to commend government for the educational grant that is currently in place and I feel that it should continue because it has allowed our children to attend school and has assisted us financially as parent,” Mr Tuitai said.
“Another issue that I would like to raise is for the Ministry of Education to consider reinstating external education examinations because one of the major challenges we face in the rural areas is assisting our children with Class Based Assessments as they require research materials like the internet which most of us do not have access too.”
Mr Tuitai thanked Government for the hosting consultations with people at the grassroots level.
“In the past this was never the case but we have seen a change with this government, they appreciate the peoples’ views.”
Sharing similar sentiments 68 year old Elenoa Cagilawa Gonelevu commended government’s efforts in hosting such consultations.
“I would appreciate if Government continues with the Social Welfare programs for the elderly and the needy,” Mrs Gonelevu said.
- PRESIDENT COMMENDS HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
Health professionals have been commended for tackling women’s health issues in the Pacific and discussing on areas of reproductive health.
His Excellency, President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau said that women’s health remains vital while opening the 11th Pacific Society for Reproductive Health (PSRH) conference at the University of the South Pacific’s Japan ICT Centre yesterday.
“I am glad to know that you are tackling important area of promoting family life. The integrity of the family life is vital. This subject must be pursued with vigor. Life in the Pacific is changing and lifestyle behaviors are threatening the health of our people,” President said.
Ratu Epeli said the surge of non-communicable diseases continues to grow and is challenging our health systems. He said cervical cancers which are preventable are killing the women of the Pacific.
“You are using your networks for professional development of your members, linking scientific research and theories with clinical practices and experiences. This in turn contributes to the significant improvement of issues like women’s health. You also encourage on-going research within key areas in the Pacific so that data is available to inform policy decisions.”
“I am informed that you already had workshops in eight critical areas of your profession and have been assisted by international faculty from the UK, Australia and New Zealand and that many of your faculty include former citizens of Fiji.
The conference also included a launch of the ‘Pacific Journal for Reproductive Health’ and the ‘Pacific Emergency and Neonatal Training Manual’.
The conference brought together 400 participants consisting of nurses, doctors, obstetricians and gynecologists from the Pacific Island countries as well as Australia and New Zealand.
It covered important areas such as family planning, emergencies and obstetrics and neonatology, ultrasound avoiding surgical complications and research and discussed key issues on strengthening family life, empowerment of women in reproductive health as well as the need to up skill professionals in areas of women’s health through training sessions.
- HEALTH MINISTRY ADVISES PUBLIC ON CHICKENPOX
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is advising the public to take precautions in preventing and controlling the spread of chickenpox.
This follows 53 cases of chicken pox that were reported in the Suva subdivision last month.
The Ministry is advising people with chickenpox to avoid attendance to childcare, school, work and to avoid public places.
The Ministry is urging the public to take necessary precautions and people with chickenpox should cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, dispose of soiled tissues, wash their hands well and not to share eating utensils, food or drinking cups.
Chickenpox (varicella) is a viral illness caused by the herpes zoster virus (also known as the Varicella-Zoster virus).
The infection is contagious and anyone who has not had chickenpox or has not been vaccinated in the past is at risk.
The symptoms of chickenpox occur two weeks after people are exposed to the virus. Chickenpox may begin with a sudden slight fever, running nose, feeling generally unwell and a skin rash. The rash usually begins as small red lumps that turn into little blisters that usually break leaving scabs.
The Virus is spread by coughing in the early stages and later by direct contact with the fluid in the blisters. Pregnant women should avoid contact with anyone with chickenpox and should see their doctor for suspected chicken pox like illness.
Most people recover without complications however, the infection can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia and inflammation of the brain.
- NORTH AGRICULTURE SHOW CONTINUES WITH AWARENESS ON IMPORTANCE OF SOIL
The 2015 Northern Agriculture Show continues in Labasa this week with land preparation and local food preparation demonstrations.
Principal Agriculture Officer (PAO) North, John Cox said that the Agriculture Show is part of efforts to raise awareness on the importance of soil and going local – meaning using locally home grown food for meals.
“We want to be able to inform the public that Agriculture is a thriving industry and we want to encourage them to become a farmer as well as to plant in their backyards, with the idea to reduce the import bill and to export more,” he said.
Mr Cox said that school children are also participating this week as they present their views through oratory contests on the 2015 Agriculture Show theme : Sustain Our Soil, Nourish our Nation, Reaffirm our Future, which is also aligned to the 2015 International Year of Soil theme: “Healthy Soils for a healthy life.”
Commissioner Northern, Jovesa Vocea who opened the Show as it commenced on Tuesday (08/07) said that sustainable soil management is the basis for food systems, fuel and fibre production, essential ecosystem functions and better adaptation to climate change for present and future generations.
Mr Cox highlighted that this year’s Show is much different from previous Shows because the demand from the public and stakeholders for the booths increased from 53 to 73 this year with an additional nine (9) marquees.
“Fifteen government departments are also participating with a total of 38 stakeholders plus 23 schools including primary and secondary levels from rural and urban schools,” Mr Cox said.
“It’s a big improvement to us due to the fact that our Show has been recognized and is becoming bigger and better,” he said.
The Agriculture Show in the North ends this Friday July 10.
Several more Agriculture Shows will be held this year in the Central, Western and Eastern Divisions.
The West Agriculture Show will be held from August 4-6 at Garvey Park, Tavua, the Central Division will be held from 9-11 September at Syria Park, Nausori and the Eastern Division Shows will be held in Levuka, Lau and Kadavu later on this year.