1. REGIONAL HEALTH LEADERS CALL FOR MORE EFFORTS TO CURB DIABETES – Regional Health leaders have expressed concern at the growing trends of diabetes related diseases and deaths in the South Pacific region.
2. JICA BRIEFS WASTE MINIMIZATION TRAINING PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS – Eight local officials who will be leaving for the Waste Minimization Training Program in Japan were today briefed on the expected outcome of the program.
3. FIJI MENTAL INISTITUTE TO TRAIN REGIONAL HEALTH PERSONNEL – Fiji’s recent participation at a global health meeting will now see the deployment of medical officials to Fiji to undertake mental training and studies.
4. NEW AGREEMENT TO BOOST BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN – Government has signed off an agreement that will see more entrepreneurship opportunities made available to women around the country.
1 REGIONAL HEALTH LEADERS CALL FOR MORE EFFORTS TO CURB DIABETES
Regional Health leaders have expressed concern at the growing trends of diabetes related diseases and deaths in the South Pacific region.
This was the topic of discussions at the recent “Pacific Ministers on Non-communicable and Post 2015 Development” meeting held in Apia, Samoa which was attended by Fiji’s health minister Dr Neil Sharma.
Highlighting the increase in premature deaths which is directly linked to diabetes, hypertension and obesity, Minister Sharma said that a collective commitment can decrease statistics.
“Obesity underpins all the non-communicable diseases. What we have seen is that obesity is on the increase and when that increases, other related diseases like hypertension, cardiovascular diseases takes place”, he said.
Dr Sharma highlighted that NCDs not only impacts individuals but also their families, their communities and ultimately, a nation as a whole.
The health minister pointed to the signing of a communiqué at the end of the meet as a tool that all leaders can commit to.
“In the communiqué, the Ministers agreed on the need to include NCDs and mental health as a specific goal in the post- 2015 development agenda,” Dr Sharma said.
Meanwhile in a new development, the Ministry of Health will be extending its services to the public through the opening of new diabetic hub centres in Lautoka and Labasa.
“The services that the hub offers include a 6-9month intensive diabetes management program, screening, counselling, treatment and dietary advice,” he said.
2 JICA BRIEFS WASTE MINIMIZATION TRAINING PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS
Eight local officials, who will be leaving for the Waste Minimization Training Program in Japan, were today briefed on the expected outcome of the program.
The Resident Representative of JICA Mr Shumon Yoshiara today welcomed and briefed the officials who were chosen from various local municipalities and government departments to undergo the two week training course.
“I warmly congratulate all eight participants for being selected to represent your country and respective organizations, in Japan,” Mr Yoshiara said.
He also reflected the objectives of the training course, known as the ‘Shibushi City Model’, which promoted waste minimization without the means of incineration at the household level by separating recyclables and non-recyclable waste.
“Since its inception, the volume of waste disposal at the landfill site in Shibushi City was successfully reduced by 80 per cent within 7 years,” he said.
Mr Yoshiara also stated that the two week training program in Shibushi City would provide the participants with on-the-job training, visits to waste treatment facilities for recyclable waste and observation of state of the art technologies that could be adopted in local municipalities.
He also urged the eight officials to make use of the opportunity given to them to learn as much as they could during the training.
“I urge you to make the most of the opportunity to learn as much as you can during the training, so that you can come back and share the knowledge gained to better your organisation.
This training program is aimed at reducing waste disposal at dumping sites within municipalities in the country.
Four municipal council representatives, each from Rakiraki, Ba, Sigatoka and Lautoka are among the eight participants that will be heading off to Japan.
3 FIJI MENTAL INISTITUTE TO TRAIN REGIONAL HEALTH PERSONNEL
Fiji’s recent participation at a global health meeting will now see the deployment of medical officials to Fiji to undertake mental training and studies.
During the recent “Pacific Ministers on Non-communicable and Post 2015 Development” meeting held in Apia, Samoa, the proposal to send officials to Fiji was presented to Fiji’s representative at the meet, Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma.
“Interest were shown that Fiji has advanced laws, we have decentralised mental health care and offering post graduate programs for doctors and nurses in mental health training program, “ Dr Sharma said.
“We have three candidates all ready studying in the country from Palau, Kiribati and Vanuatu and we are looking at the possibility of developing a regional mental health facility to be able to enhance that training and the research capabilities in the region,” Dr Sharma said.
Dr Sharma also highlighted that it was agreed by the ministers the need to include NCDs and mental health as a specific goal in the post- 2015 development agenda.
Dr Sharma is optimistic that through regional co-operation, countries in the pacific will be able to further enhance health services and reduce costs that could be utilised in other areas of development.
4 NEW AGREEMENT TO BOOST BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN
Government has signed off an agreement that will see more entrepreneurship opportunities made available to women around the country.
The agreement which was “sealed between the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation, Courts Fiji Limited and the South Pacific Business Development (SPBD)” is designed to promote women entrepreneurs in the country. Once in effect, this agreement will make new economic projects and business opportunities more accessible.
The Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni said this new development broadens the scope of opportunities that women in the country should take advantage of.
“The new partnership will create economic opportunities for women to venture into new business opportunities. This initiative will empower them with the necessary tools to become financially independent and improve their livelihoods and that of their families”, Minister Luveni said.
“We are thankful to Courts Fiji Limited and South Pacific Business Development for this partnership that promotes the economic empowerment of women in Fiji,” Dr Luveni said.
While signing the agreement, Courts Fiji Limited director marketing Mr Anil Senewiratne reiterated that the agreement will also enable women to buy products from Courts on discounted prices.
“In the initial start of this partnership last year we had already conducted more than 30 sewing trainings programs which have benefited 450 women in rural areas to develop sewing skills. With the start of the sewing machine program, we have realised that the women have so much potential in starting their own business and through this agreement they can now purchase the equipment for their businesses from Courts at highly discounted prices,” Mr Senewiratne said.
Interested applicants will have to register with the South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) who will then assess their needs and challenges and will then present them with vouchers identifying them as eligible candidates for the program. Once eligible, these women are able to purchase equipment for business ventures.
“These are equipment like brush cutters, sewing machines, microwave, deep freezers, cooking stoves along with farming tools. The SPBD will give them a voucher, they will show that voucher and get the product from Courts and start making money out of it. SPBD will be collecting the payments and providing the business training to the clients. We are confident that like the sewing machine program this initiative will also grow from strength to strength,” Mr Senewiratne added.