CAPTION: Minister for Health Dr. Neil Sharma and Australia’s Acting Head of Mission Glen Miles at the official launch of HPV vaccine.
1. MAJOR PLANS AFOOT FOR NADI TOWN – Becoming Fiji’s third city, disaster risk management, a new landfill with recycling capabilities and creating more investments are just some of the major plans the Nadi Town Council has in-store for 2013.
2. MINISTRY LAUNCHES CODE TO IMPROVE PUBLIC ACCESSIBILITY – The Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources today launched their new short code dialing system which allows the public to call the ministry on any issues associated with state land, groundwater assessment and mineral development at mobile to mobile rates.
3. MINISTER URGES PARENTS TO TAKE HEED OF BENEFICIAL OF VACCINES – Fiji’s Ministry of Health has taken the lead role in addressing the high- risks of cervical cancer among our younger generation and women in particular.
4. UAE: JOB OPPPORTUNITIES CREATES GREAT EXPOSURE: MINISTER HEALTH – The Minster for Health Doctor Neil Sharma has supported the move by Government to arrange the employment of medical personnel from Fiji to the United Arab Emirates.
5. MINISTERS ARRIVE FOR MSG CELEBRATION LAUNCH – Ministers and representatives from Melanesian countries have started converging in Vanuatu’s capital, Port Vila for the launching of the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
6. TAIWAN TRADE MISSION DONATE TO CYCLONE RELIEF – Taiwan’s Trade Representative to Fiji H.E. Ming Chang handed over $30,000 to the Fiji Red Cross Society Director General Mr Filipe Nainoca for humanitarian aid purposes for victims that were severely affected by the recent Cyclone Evan that tormented the Northern and Western divisions.
1 MAJOR PLANS AFOOT FOR NADI TOWN
Becoming Fiji’s third city, disaster risk management, a new landfill with recycling capabilities and creating more investments are just some of the major plans the Nadi Town Council has in-store for 2013.
Council Special Administrator Aisea Tuidraki said, “We are working very closely with our flood project under the IWRM (Integrated Water Risk Management) and the business community and the Commissioner Westerns officer in terms of trying to get more government support in some of the other ways of minimize flooding, like dredging, short cut channels, diversion canals and these are important things that Nadi is looking forward to”.
He said since the major floods that devastated Nadi in 2009 and again in 2012, flooding is becoming more frequent and more intense and the damage has greatly affected the business community.
“I think if we can put together a good framework to include means of addressing flooding to become resilient, to be able to build a resilient city and a resilient community”, he added.
Mr Tuidraki said, “The other plan we are working on is to become a city which the Ministry (Urban Development and Local Government) has approved. It’s the process that takes time, however we are working closely with the local government committee in terms of doing the right thing and what the proper process are that we need to follow and we are really looking forward to that”.
He said identifying a landfill site was also a major plan for 2013, “It is becoming more expensive for us to take our rubbish to Lautoka, not only for Nadi Town Council but also the hotels and this has been something we have been trying very hard over the years to identify. Late last year we managed to hold talks with one landowner who is willing to offer us a piece of land and we have been working with our Japanese counterparts who are involved in the 3 R project (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) they are willing to come and introduce their idea at the new landfill site. This is a very exciting project for us to work in partnership with our counterparts from Japan to create an environmentally friendly landfill site. Most of the expenditure of councils are covered through solid waste management and it is an ongoing challenge”.
The Council he adds will also be working on improving the beautification of the town after the various disasters that destroyed property and plan life in the town.
2 MINISTRY LAUNCHES CODE TO IMPROVE PUBLIC ACCESSIBILITY
The Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources today launched their new short code dialing system which allows the public to call the ministry on any issues associated with state land, groundwater assessment and mineral development at mobile to mobile rates.
The Ministry’s acting permanent secretary, Mr Tevita Boseiwaqa said that this idea is an addition to the civil service’s reforms pursued by government to boost accessibility.
“This is another initiative to bridge the gap between the Ministry and our customers/ clients. The expected outcome is increasing the Ministry’s ability to respond on time and therefore enhance our service delivery to the general public,” said Mr Boseiwaqa.
The four digit mobile number allocated for each department will allow Vodafone and Innk users to easily call the ministry at a very cheap rate and the short codes will be placed at their offices nationwide.
The Ministry partnered with the 700,000 plus Vodafone and Innk users in our communities but mainly with the Vodafone and NewNet Limited and Mr. Boseiwaqa thanks them for their discretion and advanced mobile systems that will aid the ministry in meeting their goals.
3 MINISTER URGES PARENTS TO TAKE HEED OF BENEFICIAL OF VACCINES
Fiji’s Ministry of Health has taken the lead role in addressing the high- risks of cervical cancer among our younger generation and women in particular.
At a briefing held today, Minister for Health Dr Neil Sharma said the accessibility of the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine will prevent cervical cancer and explained the need for parents to take heed of its benefit for girls around the country.
“Over the past decade in Fiji, cervical cancer was the most common cancer accounting 19 percent of all cancers in the country,” the Minister said.
Cervical cancer is the 3rd leading cause of death in women globally affecting 1.4million women, with reported 529,000 cases and 275,000 deaths each year. More than 50 percent of these deaths occur in the Asia and Oceania region these statistics include our Fijian women.
Dr Sharma said there is no cure for cancer but prevention is the key and these vaccines will help reduce the rates of cervical cancer in the future.”
The vaccines will be taken through three immunisations over a period of 6months and the ministry has been working in partnership with the Education ministry to provide awareness campaign.
Minister Sharma pointed out that parents should read through the brochures and make the necessary arrangements to ensure that their children have access to this vaccine. While it is not compulsory, parents are consult medical professionals before consenting to the vaccine program.
The Australian High Commission’s acting head of mission Mr Glenn Miles said the introduction of these vaccines will make a difference to the health of women in the future.
“Countries like Australia have reported a decline in serious of women suffering from cervical cancer,” which can also be the case for Fiji,” Mr Miles said.
This initiative is joint partnership between the Australian government and Fiji’s Ministry of Health.
4 UAE: JOB OPPPORTUNITIES CREATES GREAT EXPOSURE: MINISTER HEALTH
The Minster for Health Doctor Neil Sharma has supported the move by Government to arrange the employment of medical personnel from Fiji to the United Arab Emirates.
Highlighting its importance in exposing medical personnel to foreign based employment, Minister Sharma also stressed its value to Fiji’s local economy.
“This opportunity will ensure the good flow of remittance into the country and is added value for their families,” the Minister said.
Earlier this the week, the Minister for Labor Mr Jone Usamate revealed that the newly commissioned Foreign Employment Service (FORES) of the Ministry’s National Employment Centre (NEC) is working with relevant agencies to secure and process employment opportunities.
The first three employment markets that are targeted in the UAE include security, tourism and health care sectors.
“We intend to exploit Fijian workers strengths in these areas which we are internationally renowned for. However, other sectors such as retail trades, call centre and seafarers are also under consideration since 80% of UAE’s populations are foreign workers servicing lucrative international businesses with demand for good communication English is an asset”, Minister Usamate said.
In response to this, Minister Sharma pointed out that the Ministry of Health is currently undergoing reforms and restructure that will be able to accommodate current changes to strengthen the health care system.
“We have a good supply of nurses and dentists and we are hopeful that this regional program will eventually take off that will assist our neighbours,” Dr Sharma said.
This year 35 new doctors have joined the ministry with fifty four nurses also coming on board and with additional two hundred expected to join in March.
Dr Sharma is adamant that for those officials that have decided to gain exposure overseas will eventually qualify with the experience and training they have attained while in Fiji.
5 MINISTERS ARRIVE FOR MSG CELEBRATION LAUNCH
Ministers and representatives from Melanesian countries have started converging in Vanuatu’s capital, Port Vila for the launching of the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
Fiji’s representative and Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola arrived in Port Vila this morning for the celebration ceremony that will take place on Monday, January 28th, 2013.
Mr Rock Wamyton and Victor Tutugoro will represent the Political Bureau of the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste of New Caledonia while the Solomon Islands will send Sir Allan Kemakeza, who is now Speaker of Parliament and the country’s Foreign Minister. Papua New Guinea has yet to confirm its representative to the celebrations.
The celebration organizing committee is finalizing the full day program starting at 7 am which will include the raising of the MSG flags, a keynote address by Mr Kilman Livtunvanu, cultural performances, releasing of MSG balloons, performance from Futuna Seaside Choir, VMF Band display, unveiling of MSG Silver Jubilee Carvings and MSG Plaque at the MSG Secretariat Building, Launching of MSG Silver Jubilee Documentary, Tree Planting Ceremony, Kava Ceremony and a public lunch and refreshment for everyone.
6 TAIWAN TRADE MISSION DONATE TO CYCLONE RELIEF
Taiwan’s Trade Representative to Fiji H.E. Ming Chang handed over $30,000 to the Fiji Red Cross Society Director General Mr Filipe Nainoca for humanitarian aid purposes for victims that were severely affected by the recent Cyclone Evan that tormented the Northern and Western divisions.
In 2012, Taiwan also donated $30,000 to the Fiji Red Cross Society last year for victims that were affected by the devastating floods that hit the Western division. The Sigatoka-based Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM) also cultivated and distributed seedlings to affected farmers.
The handover ceremony was attended by representative from the Fiji Red Cross Society, Ministry of Agriculture and the Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma.
Mr. Nainoca thanked Taiwan for the donation and also acknowledged the work by all relevant authorities in reaching out to those affected by natural disasters.
He further noted that the Fiji Red Cross Society worked closely with the Fiji Government through DISMAC to effectively coordinate and distribute available resources.
Such donation and assistance will greatly enhance and foster future relations between all parties.