NATION

Lau Tour Hailed A Success

The recent tour to the Lau Groups by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services team has been hailed as a success. A team of 24 health staff led by
18 Feb 2017 11:00
Lau Tour Hailed A Success
Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services, Alex O’Connor (front middle), while visiting the Kabara Health Centre in the Lau Group. Photo: Ministry of Health and Medical Services

The recent tour to the Lau Groups by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services team has been hailed as a success.

A team of 24 health staff led by the Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services, Alex O’Connor visited the various health centres and nursing stations in the Lau Group.

Mr O’Connor said the tour enabled the health team to look at the way forward in addressing some of the challenges faced at the maritime based health facilities.

Apart from health facility inspection, the 11-day tour also provided the team with opportunities to facilitate free health screenings, conducted dental extractions, inspection of the medicines by the Fiji Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Services (FPBS) team, and spread awareness on Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD).

They also made public awareness programmes relative to prevention of the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like heart diseases and stroke.

The team also comprised of doctors. They were able to attend to those in need of urgent medical advice and treatment.

“The visit was timely; it allowed us to inspect the health facilities and at the same time have discussions with the health staff on issues they faced on a daily basis,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Some of the issues raised were transportation and telecommunications.

“Once all the reports are received then we will provide the assistance where needed in terms of resources and equipment.

“The communities spoke highly of the services provided by the health staff and also appreciated their commitment towards the development of health services in Lau Group is highly commendable.

“The disease surveillance team noted only two cases of tuberculosis (TB) and Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) was minimal.

“In terms of NCD cases, I am yet to receive a report from the staff who went with me,” he said.

“It was very fortunate for us to be there otherwise this young mother who was in the fifth week of pregnancy was hemorrhaging and through our prompt actions we were able to arrange for Medevac helicopter to transport the patient from Vanuavatu right to the Colonial War Memorial (CWM) Hospital in Suva.

“I would like to see the health outreach programmes going every three months to the maritime group to be effective.”

The visit also provided Mr O’ Connor with the opportunity to motivate the staff on their role.

“I had time to talk to them and find out about their challenges and ways we can address them,” he said.

“I also thanked them for their commitment to serve the communities despite the challenges faced.

“And such visits also recognises their work and inspires them.”

During this visit, Mr O’Connor also launched the, “Smoke Free Initiative” at the health facilities at Yaroi, Matuku; and Moce communities.

The duration of the Lau tour was from Sunday January 22 to Thursday February 2.  Mr O’Connor is also planning to visit the health facilities in Kadavu, Beqa, Yasawa and those in the Macuata and Cakaudrove provinces.

Source: Ministry of Health and Medical Services

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