Burden of conquering ‘old foes’

THE Fiji National University’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences convened its first regional meeting with other health professional education providers in Nadi on Wednesday, as it aspires to increase the relevancy of its programs to realities on the ground.

College dean Ian Rouse noted along with the growth in regional training facilities were significant increases in health challenges for the Pacific.

“By any measure we live in a challenging world and in this context, there is no doubt that all post-secondary education providers need to continue to evaluate the quality and relevance of their programs as they need to examine different ways in which the training of key health professionals in medical, nursing, public health and laboratory sciences can reach across the Pacific Islands,” he told participants at the Westin Resort in Nadi.

He said the Pacific was challenged with both the burden of conquering “old foes” such as communicable diseases and presently trying to cope with the health impacts of climate change. “Unfortunately, like many parts of the world, the last few decades in particular have seen a significant transition in the Pacific Islands to an increasing burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and poor mental health.”

The meeting ends tomorrow.