A DYNAMIC and invigorated nursing profession is going to be the key factor in addressing the health challenges Fiji now faces.
Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science Prof Ian Rouse stated this during the official launch of the bachelors of nursing program on Friday.
Mr Rouse said the sad reality was that right across the islands of Fiji they had been losing the battle against non-communicable diseases.
"Despite the gains in healthcare in the past, we are now facing an unprecedented challenge of ill health right across Fiji," Mr Rouse said.
"A challenge that is seeing far too many men and women, mothers and father dying in their twenties and thirties often before their parents have died and before their grandchildren have been born.
"The message from senior health agencies such as the World Health Organization and the centres for disease control and prevention in the United States is that the only way forward is with a renewed focus on primary health care and the empowerment of communities.
"The cadre of health workers who would be at the frontline and leading the charge in this battle, a battle that we have to win for the future of all Fijians, would be the Fijian-trained nurses."
He said it would not be an easy battle to win because they had to change the hearts and minds of all Fijians to choose health.
"I have a strong feeling about our future nurses, that they would be there at the frontline and they would make a difference," he said.