COVID-19 Fiji: ‘UNICEF has no business in supporting decision’

Fiji Nursing Association president Dr Alisi Vudiniabola says UNICEF has no business supporting Government's decision to send children to school in the middle of the third wave. Picture: SUPPLIED

UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) has no business in supporting the Government’s decision to send children to school in the middle of the third wave of COVID-19 involving the highly infectious Omicron variant, says Fiji Nursing Association president Dr Alisi Vudiniabola.

“Does UNICEF have the capacity to support every child in school against the impending Omicron or is it about ticking its KRA (key result areas) boxes?” she asked.

“Education can happen in the safety of our homes and not in schools alone and right now our children are safe at home.”

Dr Vudiniabola said she was raising concerns because of the escalating number of new COVID-19 cases and also because nurses and doctors were being infected during the third wave.

“We are unnecessarily putting everyone’s life at risk — for what?

“We know that the hospitals and the health service are now under tremendous strain to keep functioning despite the number of nurses and doctors who have now become sick. A few health centres in the Central Division are now heavily affected and how long will the main hospitals hold out, is anyone’s guess.”

UNICEF said it did not wish to comment on the statement by Dr Vudiniabola.

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