NATION

Ex-Health Minister And Speaker Shares His Sorrow

A high profile Fijian who was a government minister, diplomat, Speaker to Parliament and Fijian rugby captain this week shared the sorrow that he suffered for 13 long years. Pita Nacuva’s
12 Sep 2015 16:42
Ex-Health Minister And Speaker Shares His Sorrow
Former Minister for Health Pita Nacuva shares the story about his daughter Marica at the World Suicide Prevention Day at Ratu Sukuna Park in Suva on Thursday. Photo: Ministry for Health and Medical Services.

A high profile Fijian who was a government minister, diplomat, Speaker to Parliament and Fijian rugby captain this week shared the sorrow that he suffered for 13 long years.

Pita Nacuva’s daughter, Marica, committed suicide in 2002 when he was the Minister for Health.

On Thursday at Ratu Sukuna Park, Suva, during World Suicide Prevention Day celebrations, Mr Natuva openly shared the grief his family went through when his daughter died.

She died when he was leading the fight against suicide in Fiji.

He was away in Geneva attending the World Health Organisation (WHO) Annual Meeting as Fiji’s chairperson for the National Committee on the Prevention of Suicide.

He shared the story of his late daughter so that school children and young people could make better decisions instead of taking their own lives.

It was pin-drop silence as Mr Nacuva spilled the experience he went through since the day her daughter commited suicide.

“My daughter was only 19 years when she committed suicide in 2002,” he said.

“We come from a very disciplined family. In Washington on December 29, 1997, we decide to set some objectives and goals in life. Marica also set her goals and objectives and by 2002 her objective was to study here at USP.

“2002 was a great time for us because we had achieved some of our objectives, particularly for my children. But daughter Marica was in trouble and should have been in university in 2002.

“I was Minister for Health that time and I was chairperson for the National Committee on the Prevention of Suicide and had to go to Geneva for the World Health Organisation annual meeting.

“I left on May 9 and returned from Geneva on May 19. It was Sunday and I was surprised when I reached Singapore Changi International Airport that there had been a message waiting for me for two days. I finally received the message from the Ministry for Health that my daughter Marica attempted suicide on that Sunday when I left Geneva.”

“I thought at that time if I could get into Britain and fly to Fiji right away, but I finally got to Fiji on Tuesday evening.

“I went to the hospital and I saw my daughter. She took parquat on that Sunday afternoon.”

He said whenever Marica faced difficulties or problems, she would always turn to him, but that week, he was away and there was no one she could have talked to.

Speaking to school children Mr Nacuva said, “Children at this point conflict is common in every relationship, but the issue is how to resolve conflict. That is the issue that is confronting us nowadays, particularly when we talk about suicide.

“There are many ways. Some would continue to hold on to that conflict and when they withdraw and do not share their problems, there is anger and one of the signs is the desire to commit suicide and this is what exactly happened to Marica.

“It is a great responsibility for parents to know their children well, but you need to absorb them and follow them along rather than relying on school and various organisations or community,” he said.

Feedback: shahani.mala@fijisun.com.fj

 

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