Fiji university welcomes new health collaboration with Otago

Donald Wilson (front, left) with award recipients from the Fiji National University: Gade Waqa (front, right) and Sakiusa Baleivanualala and Atlesh Sudhakar (back row). Picture: RNZ

Fiji National University is welcoming a new collaboration with a New Zealand university to address health problems in the region.

The Otago University Global Health Institute has signed up with the Fiji National University and the National University of East Timor for five new research projects in the next two years.

Fiji National University’s associate dean research, Donald Wilson, who is also the director of the new Fiji Institute of Pacific Health Research, said the greater Pacific region would benefit.

“One of the scholarships that we received is in the area of NCDs (non-communicable disease), looking at childhood obesity, and the other thing is, because we are so burdened with communicable diseases in the Pacific – leptospirosis, typhoid and dengue – these are just some of the areas that we focussed on, because they are priority for the Pacific in general, not just Fiji,” Dr Wilson said.

Another initiative involves Fiji National University’s Sakiusa Cabe Baleivanualala, who has been awarded a PhD Scholarship by Otago University to study the transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria at the country’s main hospital in Suva.

The Otago Global Health Institute is a research centre within the University of Otago focussed on global health initiatives.

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