COVID-19: Fiji’s child helpline to operate as normal

New Zealand High Commissioner Jonathan Curr (left) Premila Kumar,Mereseini Vuniwaqa and Rosy Akbar during the Women Leaders Lunch with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Woman MP's,Woman in Business,Civil Society and Youth Leaders at New Zealand High Commissioner's Jonathan Curr's residence at Ratu Sukuna Road. Picture: RAMA

As Fiji fights the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Child Helpline 1325 will continue to operate as normal, providing confidential support and information by telephone to needy children.

The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation together with Medical Services Pacific (MSP) will ensure safety of children remains a priority during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a joint statement, Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa said children were the most vulnerable during such crisis and their rights, lives and well-being were at risk.

“We wish to inform that throughout this period that Fiji fights COVID-19, the National Child Helpline 1325 will continue to operate as normal, providing confidential support and information by telephone,” she said.

“A child helpline counsellor will be available to talk to you and your child 24 hours a day and seven days a week,” the Minister said.

Country director for Medical Services Pacific, Ashna Shaleen has urged the elders, parents and guardians of children to respond to their child’s reactions in a supportive way, listen to their concerns and give them extra love and attention.

“Children may respond to stress in different ways such as being more clingy, anxious, withdrawing, angry or agitated,” Ms Shaleen said.

“We will also be working closely with the Ministry for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation and our key stakeholders in facilitating referrals and response in case of child abuse throughout.”

 

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