NATION

10 Outstanding Fijians 2020

Dr Aalisha Sahukhan and Vasiti Soko are on the list of the Fiji Sun’s 10 outstanding Fijians for 2020. Dr Sahukhan, the head of Health Protection at the Ministry of
31 Dec 2020 16:28
10 Outstanding Fijians 2020
Dr James Fong, Vasiti Soko and Dr Aalisha Sahukhan.

Dr Aalisha Sahukhan and Vasiti Soko are on the list of the Fiji Sun’s 10 outstanding Fijians for 2020.

Dr Sahukhan, the head of Health Protection at the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, is one of the prominent faces in our battle against COVID-19 and the preceding measles epidemic

Ms Soko is the director of the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and has become the face of NDMO.

Dr Sahukhan provided the professional advice for her line Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. She became a familiar sight fronting news media updates on COVID-19 with the two leaders. Despite her busy schedule she married her sweetheart in June and is now on maternity leave.

Ministry of Health Acting Permanent Secretary Dr. James Fong (left) and Dr. Aalisha Sahukhan, Head of Health Protection while confirming Fiji’s first border quarantine case on July 6, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Dr. Aalisha Sahukhan.

Ms Soko, who has wide experience in Geographic Information System and Geospatial Science here and abroad, has done a remarkable job since her appointment as director in November last year. Geospatial science is the measurement, analysis and presentation of geographic information.

Director NDMO Vasiti Soko (middle) with her hard working team in Suva on December 30, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Director NDMO Vasiti Soko.

The remaining eight outstanding Fijians without any particular order are: 

  • Unaisi Vuniwaqa, Police Commissioner of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in Africa
  • Dr Shahin Nusair, one of the two doctors who led a stent procedure conducted for the first time by an entirely local team
  • Dr Bharatvansh Bali the other doctor who did the stent procedure with Dr Nusair
  • Dr James Fong, Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services
  • Captain Jonathan Smith of Dive Centre (Fiji) Limited
  • Disaster Management Minister Inia Seruiratu
  • Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum
  • Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete

Unaisi Vuniwaqa, Police Commissioner of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in Africa.

She has done Fiji proud since her appointment in 2018. It’s the highest post for any Fijian Police officer in peacekeeping. The only other Fijian who held a similar top post was President, Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote. He was the Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). She holds the distinction of being the first Fijian woman to address the UN Security Council.

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Dr Shahin Nusair and Dr Bharatvansh Bali, assisted by a local cardiac team, successfully conducted Fiji’s first ever independent cardiac stenting and angioplasty procedure on a 44-year-old Lautoka patient at the Colonial War Memorial War Hospital in Suva on September 2. Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete hailed the procedure as a milestone and a proud moment for Fiji. Previously the procedure was done by visiting medical teams from overseas.

Doctors

Dr James Fong, was deservedly confirmed Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services since October. The transition was seamless because he was already doing an excellent job as Acting PS. He took ownership of his responsibility in the battle against COVID-19. He is passionate and thorough in monitoring the killer virus and has been a key figure, helping his line minister, Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete, with decisions that have enabled Fiji to have no community transmission for 258 days today.

Ministry of Health Acting Permanent Secretary Dr. James Fong (left) and Dr. Aalisha Sahukhan, Head of Health Protection while confirming Fiji’s first border quarantine case on July 6, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar.
Captain Jonathan Smith of Dive Centre (Fiji) Limited. He has become a champion for the environment and preserving our ocean and marine life and resources.

He has been involved in clearing our harbours of wrecks and harmful.

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Disaster Management Minister Inia Seruiratu: 

He often works behind the scene. This time he has come out and led from the front after Cyclone Yasa left a trail of destruction in Bua, parts of Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Lomaiviti and Lau.

He is the only minister that is staying in Labasa, sacrificing his Christmas and Boxing Day with his family, to keep track of the distribution of food rations and relief supplies.

Screenshot 2020-12-30 at 8.21.18 PM
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Minister for Economy: 

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum has also led from the front. He went with a group of ministers immediately after Cyclone Yasa’s exit and inspected the devastated areas.

He has been responsible for securing funding from a number of international organisations including the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. He is a vital cog in the wheel of the Government’s plan to rehabilitate the cyclone-stricken areas.

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Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete: 

Dr Waqainabete’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis from a health perspective has been exemplary. He has carried on from his success with the measles epidemic for the measures he took in the vaccinations of many people.DuB0K-wVsAAW6Ug

We are now into the 258th day of no community transmission of COVID-19 while many countries overseas are still grappling with the killer virus. Overall he has been laying the foundation for primary health care by strengthening rural health services and encouraging health personnel to be professional in their service.

 

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj



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