1. DEVELOPMENT IS EVERYONE’S BUSINESS: SERUIRATU – “Fiji has a lot of potential to develop its primary industries to make our country self-sufficient and increasing volume, quantity, quality and mix of our export products.”
2. PUBLIC ENCOURAGED TO OBSERVE ‘WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY’ – The Ministry of Health is holding a “Light a Candle Memorial Service” this week marking ‘World Suicide Prevention Day’.
3. TEN MORE HOMES OPEN IN CYCLONE REHAB – Ten more homes were opened in the Nadi district as rehabilitation works continue in the western division after Hurricane Evan.
4. MEDICAL OFFICIALS CARRY OUT FREE EYE CLINICAL SERVICES – A team of medical eye professionals from China are at Nadi Hospital conducting free eye clinic services.
1 DEVELOPMENT IS EVERYONE’S BUSINESS: SERUIRATU
“Fiji has a lot of potential to develop its primary industries to make our country self-sufficient and increasing volume, quantity, quality and mix of our export products.”
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests Mr Inia Seruiratu said these words while opening the Fiji National University Farm in Navua today.
In line with the Government’s efforts to improve the performance of the resource based sectors, the University complements these efforts with its five colleges including the College of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests.
“The development of agriculture, fisheries and forestry is an important priority of the Fiji Government. Above all, there is a huge gap in the need to develop our human capital and these are clearly spelt out in Pillars 5, 6, 7 and 9 of the People’s Charter for Change, Peace and Progress,” he said.
University Chand Vice Chancellor Dr Ganesh said it is a great moment as they take the University forward in which the Government has required them to do since its establishment.
Dr Ganesh said over a period of time, they felt that agriculture has lost its sense, thus they had to take the initiative to play a lead role in establishing this as an industry by having such a college that can aspire students and also cater for their relevant training needs.
“Today we are proud to say that we have more than 800 students enrolled in the College of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests of the University,” he said.
The UniFarm is made up of a piece of land with more than 200 acres. It’s diversified with potential to be developed further.
The University together with relevant stakeholders are working together to develop it into a model training farm equipped with modern technologies and husbandry practices.
Minister Seruiratu said the University must produce young people who are ready to become practical and innovative entrepreneurs.
“It is our hope that UniFarm will nurture the people that this country needs, to be such leaders,” he said. He added that “the development of our country is everyone’s business”.
“That is why the Government will continue to support the Sustainable Livelihood Project of the University for skilling and improving rural people’s capacities to become more self-sufficient,” he said.
2 PUBLIC ENCOURAGED TO OBSERVE ‘WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY’
The Ministry of Health is holding a “Light a Candle Memorial Service” this week marking ‘World Suicide Prevention Day’.
Held annually on the 10th of September, the memorial service in Fiji which will also be held at the Suva Civic Auditorium at 5pm, is organised by the St Giles Hospital.
Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma says the memorial service aims to raise awareness about suicide prevention and mental health issues. All members of the public are invited to attend. As part of the program, participants will light candles to show their support for suicide prevention, to remember a loved one lost through suicide, and for the survivors of suicide.
The theme of World Suicide Prevention Day this year is “Stigma: A Major Barrier to suicide Prevention.”
The Minister said that in Fiji, a large proportion of people who die by suicide suffer from mental health stressors. An audit of patients referred for counselling following attempted suicide showed it was most often related to triggers such as relationship difficulties, loss of personal identity, family instability/conflicts, interpersonal loss, financial stressors and mental health issues.
“In order to improve access to mental health services, Stress Management Wards have been opened in all Divisional Hospitals to improve accessibility. People are encouraged to use these services and get help when needed. They can also contact their nearest Health Centres or counselling units across the country. These counselling units are supported by Ministry of Health to provide free counselling services to the public” added Dr Sharma
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates suicide to be one of the leading causes of death in the world, especially among young people. Nearly one million people worldwide die by suicide each year. This corresponds to one death by suicide every 40 seconds. The number of lives lost each year through suicide exceeds the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined. These staggering figures do not include nonfatal suicide attempts which occur much more frequently than deaths by suicide.
The ‘Light a Candle Memorial’ Service will include information desks on suicide prevention and information on mental health services available in Fiji. St Giles Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Peni Buikoto will speak on suicide prevention and the programs offered by his institution.
3 TEN MORE HOMES OPEN IN CYCLONE REHAB
Ten more homes were opened in the Nadi district as rehabilitation works continue in the western division after Hurricane Evan.
Villagers and individuals whose homes were fully destroyed by the cyclone thanked government in assisting in rebuilding their lives.
“We are grateful to government as we did not expect to be given our new home after the cyclone took our home away in December,” said Tagi Moala a resident of Nadi who stepped into her new home after the last one was destroyed during Hurricane Evan.
“I would like to thank the Prime Minister as he has treated everyone equally. Before it was those in urban areas that used to get the first priority but this government has shown that everyone is equal and has treated us equally.”
The homes were handed over to its owners by the District Officer Nadi, Peni Koro in the different areas of Nadi including those living in Nagado at the foot of the sleeping giant mountain.
“It’s been almost a year since the cyclone hit us but government is thankful for your understanding and patience,” he told the home owners.
“There have been a lot of damages in the whole of the western division and not Nadi alone and we are happy that some of you will now be able to benefit through government rehabilitation.”
Another resident Iosefo Nasaro could not hold back his emotions as he was handed the keys for his new home.
“I do not have words to thank this government for what it has done for me and my family. After we lost our home, we stayed with other villagers as we had nowhere to go,” Mr Nasaro said.
“My two children now have a home their can call their and I must thank the Prime Minister and his ministers for their assistance.”
4. MEDICAL OFFICIALS CARRY OUT FREE EYE CLINICAL SERVICES
A team of medical eye professionals from China are at Nadi Hospital conducting free eye clinic services.
The team which consists of three doctors and two nurses are from Guangdong Hospital, China arrived yesterday afternoon and conducted its first ever clinic this morning in Nadi. The team is expected to screen more than 100 patients during its stay in Fiji.
Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma thanked the team saying that the Ministry of Health will continue to partner with teams like these to provide medical care to its people.
“We are grateful of the fact that the team has brought in eye glasses and other medications with them which will be given out to people for free”, said Dr Sharma.
All those patients who will be screened have been booked well in advance.
The team is expected to visit Fiji early next year again.