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Acting PM Calls For End To Old Habits

  Fijians need to move away from the old habit of presenting themselves late to hospitals to seek medical care for illnesses. Speaking at the launch of this year’s Pinktober
29 Sep 2018 13:07
Acting PM Calls For End To Old Habits
Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum Speaking at the launch of this year’s Pinktober campaign at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital auditorium.

 

Fijians need to move away from the old habit of presenting themselves late to hospitals to seek medical care for illnesses.

Speaking at the launch of this year’s Pinktober campaign at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital auditorium, Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said a lot of awareness needs to be done so that people report to hospitals at the earliest.

“In Fiji one of the issues that we have is that people present themselves to the hospitals late. This is one of the problems that we are facing and we need to create a lot of awareness about it,” he said.

He acknowledged the work that the Fiji Cancer Society has done and said Fijians tended to rely heavily on traditional methods of healing.

“The reality in Fiji is that we tend to depend on traditional medicine, traditional ways of dealing with certain lumps that appear in our body or get somebody to massage it or we maybe a bit shy or madua or see it as taboo to go and see other people about it and I think we need to be able to get over those constraints that we place upon ourselves individually,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He said there were new ways to deal with issues that people previously did not talk openly about, such as breast cancer.

“There are new ways of dealing with it. New ways individuals can detect it on yourselves,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“Everyone needs to create awareness through your profession, with family and friends because you can see that the cost of cancer can be quite prohibitive.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said cancer restricted individuals from growing as a person.

“That level of productivity and the costs that not only you bear personally, but also the company bears, those around you, the family members, where you work it also becomes a cost to the medical health system,” he said.

“In order for us to deal with such illnesses we need to have a lot more sophisticated approach to medical care.”

He said another issue Fiji faced was the lack of expertise in collating data.

“We are not very good at collecting information and storing that information and doing analysis on it to be able to find particular trends in respect of who is it happening to, where it is happening from, what are the sort of hormonal issues that people are facing,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He added that the food people ate as well as the environment they lived in were also important areas of analysis when researching trends.

“The only way that we can carry out these analyses and be able to put in place preventative measures is if we have good data,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“Generally, in other areas of illnesses in Fiji, we tend to present ourselves much later on to the doctors in the hospitals. And sometimes people have expectations that once they go to the hospital the doctors will fix everything up.

“Doctors are only human beings. If you go too late to them even they cannot prevent it.”

He added that advanced chemotherapy and radiation may not be available in Fiji and was also a prohibition when people presented themselves late for treatment.

“If you go too late also there are certain prohibitions that we have in respect of the sophisticated care that we provide in Fiji,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“Advanced chemotherapy may not be available, radiation may not be available in Fiji so we have to send people overseas, again there is a cost issue, but also in respect of the family support when you go away overseas and you need treatment you will not have all the families around as you would if you were in Fiji.

“That psychology of it, that emotional strain becomes very, very demanding.”

He urged people to deal with illnesses early as soon as they detected any symptom, adding that people should also see a doctor at the same time when they are seeking traditional medicine.

“You can seek traditional medicine but see a doctor too simultaneously,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“Do not go to the doctors only when the traditional medicine does not work.

“It is very important for us to have that heightened level of awareness so we can deal with the problem seriously.”

Edited by Epineri Vula

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