Caption: Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with Rabi Health Centre staff. Photo: MINFO.
Residents on the island of Rabi will no longer have to travel long distances to access medical assistance following the opening of their new refurbished health centre today by the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama.
The head of government today acknowledged the years of wait by Rabi villagers and nearby communities.
Commending them for their determination to see the fruition of a new health centre, the Prime Minister said that today’s development would ease the burden for many families.
“Nothing is more important than providing for the health and physical wellbeing of all Fijians, which is why today is an important milestone- the opening of the refurbished Rabi Health Centre.”
Rabi is one of the priorities of the Ministry of Health in its efforts to control Tuberculosis, which is a serious threat to everyone on this island.
“ 513 TB cases per 100,000 people compared with 23 cases per 100,000 in the rest of Fiji. Indeed, our experts warn us that if TB is not controlled, the disease has the potential to wipe out the population here in just a few years,” the Prime Minister said.
The development of this new facility has also been positioned to allow residents of Rabi to access TB services for free. This after the Ministry of Health categorised the new refurbished health centre as a Directly Observed Treatment Short course center or DOTS.
“As a DOTs treatment centre, Rabi gets its own x-ray machine that gives doctors the ability to better diagnose tuberculosis, as well as a range of other ailments,” the Prime Minister highlighted.
The doctors also have new equipment to conduct sputum and blood tests.
Prime Minister Bainimarama pointed out that this development will ease the burden of many families on the northern island.
“TB patients will remain in Rabi, close to their homes and families during the entire course of their treatment. They no longer have to travel to Labasa hospital or Tamavua hospital in Suva to spend the usual two months there while being treated”.
“We’ll be able to diagnose TB quicker and reduce the number of deaths that occur from TB or other diseases because of delayed diagnosis.”
The Prime Minister is touring the northern division, assessing and officiating at various government projects and has also taken time to speak directly with local communities to address their grievances and issues.