The Fiji National University’s (FNU), College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences’ (CMNHS), will celebrate World Bioethics Day to acknowledge the critical role of ethics in health care provision.

The event to be held at Pasifika Campus will draw attention to human values in the face of rapid scientific and technical advancement. This celebration is a first for the College and the Pacific region.

Organised by the Fiji Institute of Pacific Health Research (FIPHR), the newly formed research arm of the College, this year’s celebration theme is “Benefit and Harm”.

The Chief Guest at the function will be FNU Acting Vice-Chancellor Dr William May. The program will be dominated by active discussions on the role of bioethics and its application in the College and health care settings, emphasising how health professionals must conduct their daily practice ethically.

Acting Dean CMNHS, Dr Donald Wilson, highlighted the importance of ethics in health workers.“We are not only advocating for the vital importance of ethics in our daily practice and lives as students, staff and health professionals,” Dr Wilson said.

“We are also creating awareness on the roles and functions of the College Human Health Research and Ethics Committee (CHHREC), the recently accredited body within the college, that can now vet health research proposals in the country.” 

The event will showcase how each of the five Schools of the College (School of Nursing, School of Public Health and Primary Care, School of Medical Sciences, School of Health Sciences and School of Oral Health and Dentistry) teach and address bioethics in health issues within their educational programmes and research activities. 

The College staff and students will be joined by invited guests from various government ministries including the ministries of Health and Medical Services; Youth and Sports; Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation; Education, Heritage and Arts.

Technical agencies such as the  World Health Organization (WHO), UN Women, UNFPA and Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and Civil Society Organisations such as Red Cross, Pacific Disabilities Forum and the Reproductive and Family Health Association, Fiji will also participate at the event.

The programme will conclude with a tree-planting activity in commemoration of this special day.

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