$1.2m health centre for villagers

A NURSING station in Ra damaged during Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston has reopened as a newly-constructed health centre.

The Waimaro Health Centre will service a population of more than 29,000 in Ra and has been built by the Australian and Fijian governments.

According to resident, Sunema Tuikenawa, the days after TC Winston in 2016 were extremely challenging for the people.

“It is good that we have a health centre now because we had to travel all the way to Rakiraki Hospital after the nursing station here was destroyed,” she said.

“Transport costs were a big worry for us and now that they’ve told us there will be a medical officer too, it is reassuring for us.”

Speaking at the opening, Health Minister Rosy Akbar said the initiative was part of Australia’s pledge of $30 million to help Fiji recover from the devastation of STC Winston.

“The centre includes an upgraded health facility, doctors’ dormitory and a duplex for two nurses,” she said.

“The facility upgrade includes the provision of necessary equipment and a vehicle for primary health care outreach. The total value of the support is $1.2 million and the Health Ministry has constructed two nurses dormitories,” Mrs Akbar said.

Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes said as part of Australia’s immediate support, a temporary nursing station was constructed by Habitat for Humanity.

Mr Feakes said this would be Rakiraki’s sixth health centre.

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