Caption: Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama (left) and Minister for Health Jone Usamate (middle) with the Nadroga Navosa subdivisional medical officer Dr Sravaniya Dasi duirng the opening of the Sigatoka Hospital new maternity unit. Photos: MARGARET NAQIRI.
By ANUSHIL KUMAR
The newly renovated maternity unit was officially opened by the Hon. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the Sigatoka Hospital on Wednesday, January 21.
Hon. Bainimarama said he was delighted to be in Sigatoka to open the new extension to the hospital where a great deal of more Fijians would enter the world in the coming months and years as he regarded mothers as the backbone of the nation.
“It’s always a special pleasure to improve facilities for the most important people in all our lives – our mothers. They are the backbone of our nation and deserve the best we can give them,” said the Hon. Prime Minister.
“Unfortunately, they haven’t always had that here in Sigatoka. But from today all that changes with a new maternity unit that is a wonderful addition to Sigatoka and Nadroga and a wonderful improvement in the conditions we can provide for our women during the most important experience of their lives.”
The Prime Minister was grateful to the Fiji Hotel Association, Coral Coast Chapter, for joining them in building the wonderful new facility.
“This new extension is a public-private partnership between the Government and the Fiji Hotel Association through the Board of Visitors at Sigatoka Hospital.
“Of the total cost of $2.6 million spent on this project, the Hotel Association, Coral Coast Chapter, has contributed $600,000, with the rest provided by Government. I want to thank the Association on behalf of every Fijian, and especially the people of Nadroga, for that contribution.
“This Hospital not only caters for about 50,000 people within the Sigatoka Hospital catchment area, but another 5,000 or so tourists who are our honoured guests at hotels along the Coral Coast.”
Mr Bainimarama also paid tribute to all the other stakeholders behind the successful completion the project – the Ministry of Works, the Ministry of Health, the Office of the Commissioner Western, Provincial Officials, and the Contractor Cope Construction.
“This new maternity unit, health centre, and health office comes on top of a range of other developments at Sigatoka Hospital over the years, including an eye clinic, a dental clinic, and accident and emergency unit, and the refurbishment of the hospital wards.
“About 100 babies are delivered here every month. And a similar number attend the ante-natal care clinic as we prepare our mothers for their important day. So everything about this new facility is designed to make them more comfortable and give them the best possible care.”
The Prime Minister, earlier same day, also opened the new health centre in Vatukarasa Sigatoka before opening the Cuvu Health Centre the following day on Thursday, January 22.