Breathing life into TB fight

Nanise Rainima (third from left) at the launch. Pictures: Supplied

Nanise Rainima (third from left) at the launch. Pictures: Supplied

MISS World Fiji 2017 Nanise Rainima recently launched the Breathe Well Initiative at Namatakula Village in Nadroga with the message for communities to work together in harmony.

Ms Rainima, who is also an ambassador for the Foundation for the Education of Needy Children in Fiji (FENC Fiji), said communities needed to act now and work in harmony to raise awareness on tuberculosis (TB).

“Like most diseases in our local community, once someone is sick with the disease they are put aside and made fun of. Perhaps, there is a lack of knowledge among communities that this disease is curable,” she said.

“We need to be aware that tuberculosis is curable as long as people complete their medicines. Take your medicine every day to be cured,” Ms Rainima said.

She said Fijians were known to be caring and humble people and with this they could reach people to lead a healthy life and stop the spread of TB.

The Breathe Well Initiative launch was part of the local non-government organisation called Kai Ni Cola that advocated on climate change issues based at Namatakula Village.

“We need to reach our target of 70 per cent and this can be achieved by allowing our health team to visit your communities. If we do not reach our target of 500 or more each year, some of our people will continue to be sick and spread the disease,” she said.

She urged people to take a more active role in learning about TB, creating awareness, advocating for social protection, referring presumptive TB cases, taking up the vital role of supporting treatment to ensure that families or community members were cured once they started treatment.

Kai Ni Cola director Samuela Kuridrani said they had about 400 youths part of the NGO.

“After this launch, we can now conduct our first TB awareness to the villagers and inform them on the concept of Breathe Well,” Mr Kuridrani said.

The national TB program with Korolevu medical area and Nadroga/Navosa subdivision conducted free screening sessions on TB and non-communicable diseases for the people of Namatakula.

A total of 12 people were screened for contact with one case identified as a TB case.