1. PM BAINIMARAMA CONGRATULATES KIRIBATI ON NATIONAL DAY – Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has sent a congratulatory message to Kiribati’s President His Excellency Te Berentitenti Anote Tong as the country celebrates her National Day on 12th July.
2. HEALTH MINISTER REACHES OUT TO LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO COMBAT NCDS – The Minister for Health Dr Neil Sharma has called for commitment and ownership from the community and individuals in the fight against Non-Communicable Diseases.
3. WORKS IN PROGRESS IN LEVUKA AFTER UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE LISTING – With Fiji’s old capital Levuka now listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Listing, further works are progressing to ensure the maintenance of the site’s uniqueness.
4. CAMPAIGN GENERATES POSITIVE CHANGES IN WAIKETE – Waikete Village in the Province of Tailevu this week became the 15th village in the country to achieve government’s Ministry’s Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaignprogram.
5. HEALTH DECENTRALISATION TO MAKE SERVICES MORE ACCESSIBLE – The Ministry of Health will continue to decentralize healthcare facilities in Lautoka this year, says Minister for Health Dr Neil Sharma.
1 PM BAINIMARAMA CONGRATULATES KIRIBATI ON NATIONAL DAY
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has sent a congratulatory message to Kiribati’s President His Excellency Te Berentitenti Anote Tong as the country celebrates her National Day on 12th July.
Kiribati, formerly known as the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, was a British colony that attained independence on 12th July in 1979.
Prime Minister Bainimarama highlighted the relations shared between Fiji and Kiribati over the years, saying that it stands to be further strengthened in the near future.
“The Island Nations of Fiji and Kiribati have mutually enjoyed the warm reciprocity amongst Pacific colleagues,” PM Bainimarama said.
PM Bainimarama added that Fiji and Kiribati, as neighbouring Pacific Small Islands Developing States, have enjoyed cordial and meaningful relations with each other in various aspects of cooperation.
“This too is our mutual surety that the established goodwill and sincerity we have at all levels of our two societies will ensure the resilience of our people in the many years ahead.”
2 HEALTH MINISTER REACHES OUT TO LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO COMBAT NCDS
The Minister for Health Dr Neil Sharma has called for commitment and ownership from the community and individuals in the fight against Non-Communicable Diseases.
He made this plea as he opened the new Diabetes Hub Centre at the Lautoka Hospital where he also highlighted how Fiji is closing the gap it had with the regional statistics in terms of diabetes.
“The diabetes rate in the Pacific is every third adult has it with a ratio of 1 is to 3, and Fiji had a ratio of 1 is to 5 but recent figures indicate that Fiji is closing in to the Pacific figure,” he said.
Dr Sharma said the hub will be a one stop shop for detection and treatment of diabetes whereby the public can come for testing everyTuesday and Thursday.
The facility, which will be manned by multi-disciplinary staff, will be otherwise dedicated to treatment of diabetic patients.
The Minister said the fight against such diseases cannot be adequately addressed by only Government intervention but the public has to play its part such as looking out for obesity especially in children as it is the agent to a lot of Non-Communicable Diseases.
“Let’s leave a legacy for our future generation because we are the first generation of human beings who are seeing our own children’s quality of being affected and parents burying their own children. It is horrendous,” Dr Sharma said.
The clinic will provide services such as therapy sessions with dieticians, dental, physiotherapy, eye screening and foot care.
Two more diabetes hubs were opened in Labasa and Suva today.
3 WORKS IN PROGRESS IN LEVUKA AFTER UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE LISTING
With Fiji’s old capital Levuka now listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Listing, further works are progressing to ensure the maintenance of the site’s uniqueness.
The Ministry of Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts permanent secretary, Dr Brij Lal said Fiji would report back to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Committee in 2015 on the further works undertaken.
“There are three or four things that need to be done. One is looking at the Fiji World Heritage Decree; slight amendments have to be made. We also have to look at the conservation programme at Levuka, both of buildings and national sites, the landscape and we also have to have a Levuka Town Planning Scheme which various ministries are working on,” Dr Lal said.
“We also have to look at the existing buildings that are there to ensure that they are kept in the same shape. While some renovations can be done, they have to be kept to the same shape. Some of the ecological sites and an inventory for Levuka also have to be looked at.”
Dr Lal said the Ministry of Education was also providing assistance to schools within the zone so that they could upgrade and maintain their status.
“Every year, we provide a grant to schools in Levuka and this is for buildings. There are four schools within the zone.”
Dr Lal said the Fiji World Heritage Decree is the governing legislation that would ensure that the historic and unique structures in Levuka are maintained.
“We have met 90 per cent of the requirements at this stage. Come 2015, we would have met over 100 per cent. All the projects given to us are in progress. We are thankful to the people of Levuka for their support in getting Levuka listed on the UNESCO World Heritage,” Dr Lal added.
Levuka is among 14 new sites declared by the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO -the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation -at its meeting in Cambodia last month.
Department of National Heritage, Culture and Arts senior policy planning officer, Sipiriano Nemani said it took them around two decades to get Levuka listed on the World Heritage Listing.
“The first submission that we made to World heritage Centre in Paris indicating our efforts to have Levuka listed was in. In 2012, we had a review and that inculcated some provisions to help Levuka be part of the listing,” Mr Nemani said.
4 CAMPAIGN GENERATES POSITIVE CHANGES IN WAIKETE
Waikete Village in the Province of Tailevu this week became the 15th village in the country to achieve government’s Ministry’s Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign program.
An official declaration ceremony was held this week at Waikete village where the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni unveiled a billboard that erected in front of the village to signify the long term commitment of Waikete village to the campaign.
Soqosoqo Vakamarama Waikete president Mrs Elenoa Rokodolo commended Government for this new development and pointed towards its advantages for women in their community.
“We are grateful to the Ministry of Women for this initiative which has transpired positive changes for the women and children in Waikete. Since the beginning of this campaign, the villagers had opportunity to participate into various awareness programs ranging from gender equality, domestic violence and child protection.
“This has generated positive changes, women are now given more respect by the men, our views are being heard and we have also been given the opportunity to be represented on our village development committee. Before women were not even allowed to sit and participate in village meetings but now this culture has changed. Through this campaign men have realized on the importance of women and this has triggered a change in attitude which is witnessed in women given equal opportunities to participate into decision making,” Mrs Rokodolo said.
She said people are now well aware of the reporting procedures on domestic violence and women are also encouraged to report cases to the police.
In her opening address to the community, Minister Luveni reiterated that the campaign is designed towards educating and empowering the communities to take action to stop all forms of violence against women and children.
“The campaign educates the communities that violence is not acceptable and that there is a need to eliminate discriminatory practices against women to have a peaceful environment in homes and communities. It strengthens family bonding, it emphasizes on the need for parents to spend quality time with their children. When we have violence free communities, women are happy, confident and are able to effectively contribute towards developing their families and communities,” Dr Luveni said.
The Minister said that the success of this campaign is largely dependent on the gatekeepers committee that is made up of village elders, church, women and youth leaders to work together with the relevant stakeholders like Police and Ministry of Health to monitor the progress of this campaign.
“Through a multisectoral approach, this campaign provides relevant information to women on reporting procedures and also educates the community on accessing relevant services like justice and health services to help the victims of domestic violence,” Dr Luveni added.
5 HEALTH DECENTRALISATION TO MAKE SERVICES MORE ACCESSIBLE
The Ministry of Health will continue to decentralize healthcare facilities in Lautoka this year, says Minister for Health Dr Neil Sharma.
Dr Sharma made these comments as he opened the Kamikamica Health Centre in Lautoka, which is the second of the kind in the sugar city after an earlier health centre was opened in Veiseisei.
The decision to do this has been hailed by the community including the elderly who no longer have to travel long distances to access medical services and facilities.
“It takes me only seven minutes to get here (Kamikamica health centre) so not only do I save money, which as a retiree is a concern to me, but I also get a bit of exercise,” said 67 year old Mr Satya Lingam Achari who suffered from two strokes.
“I think it is very good idea to have health centres in communities and I thank the Government for this, it is a big relief for us.”
Dr Sharma said after the decentralization in Suva, the Colonial War Memorial Hospital saw 500 less patients at the outpatients and similarly the health centres in Lautoka will help to “offload the crowd that gather at the Lautoka Hospital”.
This, he said, will leave the medical professionals and the Ministry free to provide additional services such as three additional operating theatres, a modern accidents and emergency unit and cardiac CAT laboratory.
He added that one of the greatest advantages is that rather than just fighting illness, these health centres will be able to concentrate on wellness as well.
Two more health centres are planned in Lautoka in the near future, namely in Vomo Street later this year and another one in the Drasa Vitogo area next year.