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Govt Pushes Healthy Lifestyle Message

Govt Pushes Healthy Lifestyle Message
SI Sigatoka Team with Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Veena Bhatnagar holding their first published magazine.
July 06
12:39 2015

Non- communicable diseases were the feature of volunteer group Soroptimist International’s 20th anniversary for its Sigatoka club on Saturday.

It was a celebration of a group’s achievement on their open day at the Saint Joan of Arc School at Sigatoka Town.

Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Veena Bhatnagar was chief guest at the event and spoke on the importance of women’s health.

She said, “2011 STEPS results have clearly shown that women are two times more obese than men.

“The ministry has noted that not all Fijians smoke, drink alcohol or exercise but many Fijians eat excessively irrespective of age, colour, gender, religion or economic status.

“So eating and drinking is the main risk factor that we need to control,” she emphasised.


Ministry initiatives

The Health Ministry is involved in a high-level programme of action, awareness and advocacy.

“We continue to intensify our campaign to promote healthy, lifestyles within our communities,” Mrs Bhatnagar said.

“From the results of the screening done to date, it is clear to us that chronic diseases of lifestyle are a major problem in our communities.

“The Fijian Government’s Free Medicine Programme will provide 72 price-controlled medicines prescribed by a licensed doctor free of charge to all Fijians who earn less than $20,000 a year.”

This programme will help alleviate the cost of living and increase the quality of health by ensuring equitable access to life-saving medicines.

“Each and every girl and every woman must ensure that everyone in the family is screened for NCDs,” Mrs Bhatnagar said.

“We need to move away from reacting and move towards creation. It’s hard to change behaviour, but it’s easy to create behaviour.”

She saluted the Soroptimists for being ambassadors for education, empowerment and enabling women and girls to make a difference in their lives and their communities.

Ms Bhatnagar said Soroptimists could mobilise communities for screening with the collaboration from the nurses.

“Community Outreach Screening is the key to any efforts to dealing with NCD and I am sure we can accelerate our partnership in the great work you are already doing.”

The organisation also launched their first magazine as the open day concluded with games, craft displays, free medical check-ups, activities and entertainment.



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