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Aust Envoy Impressed By Koro During Winston

Aust Envoy Impressed By Koro During Winston
Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, John Feakes (right) with Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar during the opening of the newly-upgraded Koro Maternal and Child Health Centre on September 11, 2018. Photo: Australian High Commission Media
September 12
10:45 2018

The resilience of the people of Koro Island during Tropical Cyclone Winston in February 2016 was an inspiration for many.

These were the comments by Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, John Feakes who jointly opened and handed over the reconstructed and upgraded Koro Maternal and Child Health Centre with Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar.

The event took place yesterday with the $634,000 upgraded project funded by the Australian Government.

“Australia is honoured to have been part of the TC Winston response and recovery work and to support the rebuilding effort – so important to the lives of the people of Koro,” Mr Feakes said.

“After TC Winston hit, Australia was part of the initial response, with services of the Australian Defence Force, accompanied by a team of medical doctors, nurses and paramedics providing immediate assistance and distributing emergency supplies.

“Koro, then, I am told and as you well know, was completely destroyed … I am truly privileged to be here to officiate the opening and handing over of the completed Maternal and Child health Clinic to the Government of Fiji.”

Ms Akbar said she was proud of our strengthened collaboration with Australia that has doubled our strength in rebuilding efforts.

Whether it is building a road, school, health facility, we know that the payoff from these investments will benefit Fijians today, tomorrow, and the future generations, she said.

“The new MCH clinic will also empower our health staff to rigorously reach out to as many communities through public awareness and community outreach programmes on Safe Motherhood and health development,” Ms Akbar said.

“The Koro Health Centre that is inclusive of this new MCH clinic will be manned by 1 doctor and 3 nurses.”

The upgrade:

ν The new wing includes a delivery room and an antenatal clinic, and has been built to withstand category 5 cyclonic wind speeds. It will also act as a safe haven in the event of an emergency.

ν The older building has also been refurbished to include a new energy supply in the form of a generator and a hybrid solar-wind harvester.

Following TC Winston, Australia supported the construction of three temporary Health Centres for three sites: Kese (in Yasawa), Waimaro (in Rakiraki) and Nasau (now Koro Health Centre on Koro Island) as part of its post TC Winston response and recovery activities.

The Koro Health Centre now meets the standard for Level C Health Centre.

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