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Letters To The Editor 24th August, 2018

Letters To The Editor 24th August, 2018
August 24
10:15 2018

Salute to teachers

Rohitesh Chand, Nadroga

The Term 2 school holidays has gone past whereby many teachers took time to catch up with their families, friends or attended to their personal commitments.

However, I wish to acknowledge and salute those teachers who thought otherwise and went out of their way to provide another learning platform for the students in terms of extracurricular activities or sports.

These included activities such as national scouts camping, Kaji Rugby, secondary schools football, netball, swimming, hockey and many other activities and sports tournaments.

It requires a lot of sacrifice and juggling of family time to be involved in such activities and not only this, most importantly the courage and risk to take the responsibility of duty of care for students.

This is because if all things will go well there will be very less taps on the back but if something goes wrong, there will be many confrontations from many different angles. And that is why teachers who were involved in these activities and sports must be commended.

They do this because of their passion and love towards students and the activities.

Thumbs up colleagues and be rest assured that your sacrifice will be rewarded in one way or the other. You may not have realised, but indeed your sacrifice has enabled students to learn more new things outside the classroom and most importantly that will remain as lifetime memories for them.

Many thanks and best wishes for Term 3

Handwashing TV ad

Dewan Chand, Suva

I write to commend the efforts of the designers of the TV advertisement Make Hand Washing A Habit. This is most appropriately designed and artistically crafted to attract the attention of the children in particular and the general public.  Yes, the habits formed in childhood do not die easy.

Good habits are encouraged and bad habits are discouraged by the parents, teachers and friends, so parents buckle up and help your child in forming hygienic handwashing habits.

This is best done by setting a good example and providing necessary facilities such as hand basins with soap, hand towels etc.

Schools could do much in promoting this excellent personal hygiene habit.

Can schools provide toilet papers, liquid soap and hand towels? Can the Ministry of Education help in this regard because this will be an expensive exercise, but worth considering?

I assume this advertisement has the backing of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services because it promotes their agenda.

Health officials have always pontificated about the need to lead healthy lifestyles in view of the meteoric rise of killer diseases in our communities.

However, the ground reality does not match the word projected in the advertisement.

At the CWM Hospital the toilets are generally in a filthy condition despite the workers cleaning it. There is no provision for toilet papers, hand washing soap or hand towels.

The taps in the male toilet on the ground floor are left unattended for long.

Once I asked the security at the reception desk for toilet paper and he told me that visitors have to bring their own toilet papers!

This is beyond belief!

I am a regular visitor to the National Diabetes Centre, which is housed in a dilapidated colonial building with very poor facilities all around.

The public toilet has no hand basin, no soap and no hand towels or electric hand dryers. Where do you expect the patients and visitors who go to the NDC to wash their hands? This place is very neglected and the Health Ministry needs to look at this matter urgently. I am a proud Fijian and I want our health facilities to be of an acceptable standard.

Political Determinants of Health

Dr Kris Naidu, Nadi

Health is a political choice and politics is a continuous struggle for power among competing interests. Looking at health through the lens of political determinants means analysing how different institutions, processes, interests and ideological positions affect health at different levels of governance.

Politics, for better or worse, plays a critical role in health affairs. Ultimately, health is shaped by factors such as the distribution of money, power and resources, all of which can be tackled only in sectors other than health.

Health has increasing relevance for political legitimacy and the economy and it is critical to fiscal policies and to the social state.

“Lack of political will” here in Fiji is often cited as the main reason for failing to deal with factors affecting health.

I must warn of romantic illusions in the face of messy problems.

Fiji has the highest death rate from diabetes in the world with 188 of 100,000 fatalities being attributed to the disease, the latest life expectancy world rankings show. And Indo Fijians were more likely to suffer from the disease, says the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, highlighting that one in three Fijian adults had diabetes.

This shocking data is undoubtedly a consequence of an ailing healthcare system along with poor lifestyle choices and lack of health consciousness.

As a result, I am loath to say that we as doctors are failing our patients and the subsequently failing the health of the nation. Health professionals and institutions alike need to become more politically astute to bring about change and end this healthcare nightmare.

The time is right to engage in a serious joint intellectual endeavour to further explore the political determinants of healthcare in this country.

Above all it requires a willingness to bring together a public health perspective reared on causality, evidence, determinants and interventions with a lens that deals with the nature of power, systems, wicked problems, uncertainty and complexity.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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