Initiative to build capacity, resilience

Health Minister Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete pictured with US Ambassador to Fiji, Joseph Cella, left, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan, Omura Masahiro, UNICEF Pacific representative, Sheldon Yett and New Zealand Ambassador to Fiji, Jonathan Curr after the launch of the Health Care on Air Pacific at the Ministry of Health's Dinem House in Toorak, Suva on Monday, July 06, 2020. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

The newly launched “Health Care On Air Pacific” initiative will build capacity and resilience within frontline workers around 14 Pacific Island countries that are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officiating at the launch yesterday, Minister for Health Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said global data indicated that the presence of the virus on one country represented a threat to the entire Pacific Island countries.

Dr Waqainabete said the initiative came at a better time for Fiji, in particular, as the Government through the ministry, planned to embark on a remodelling exercise of all its services, seeking to evolve to remain relevant to the global shift in healthcare services and its innovations.

“Much of the developed country’s remodelling and transformations have looked at digitalising healthcare service provision through initiatives that involve improved virtual care capacity and tele-health,” he said.

“We anticipate that the Health Care On Air Pacific program will benefit nurses in the 14 Pacific Island countries in improving their knowledge and clinical skills to remain safe while handling covid-19 cases as well as other diseases.

“It is also providing an avenue to ensure ongoing capacity building programs in place for future responses to any other public health threats.

“Nurses who are frontline healthcare workers will continue to have access to new capacity building initiatives via this model.”

Mr Waqainabete explained nurses across the 14 countries would now be able to receive training via televised training sessions.

The initiative is part of joint efforts between the USAID, New Zealand Government and UNICEF.

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