The first training for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on primary screening standards in Fiji commenced today for 25 participants from Medical Services Pacific (MSP), Rama Krishna Mission of Fiji and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS). 

The training aims to provide capacity building support to CSOs funded by the Ministry to conduct primary screening diagnoses for persons suspected to have a non-communicable disease or illness. 

Opening the day-long program, Chief Medical Adviser Dr Jemesa Tudravu said the training is a step towards increasing the perimeters of screening activities for the Fijian people. 

“There will be more staff trained to identify potential high risk people, as early detection is key to managing better health,” Dr Tudravu said. “I also convey our profound gratitude to the Australian Government for their continued support towards improving the lives of all Fijians.” Primary screening reduces the number of people who may later become sick or die from a disease.

This should help promote health-seeking behaviours and empower individuals to be more engaged and informed about health risks and the importance of early detection. Head of Research, Information & Data Analysis Management of MoHMS, Dr Eric Rafai said they are happy to support the important work of CSOs in delivering screening services to communities.  

“Each year, thousands of people are invited to be screened for a variety of conditions including NCDs, breast and cervical cancer. These early detection efforts would not be possible without the close collaboration between MHMS and CSO personnel.

This workshop will help ensure the ongoing quality of these services for all Fijians,” he said. Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, John Feakes, said the Australian Government is proud to work with Fijian health officials and CSOs to ensure Fijian communities can access high quality screening services. 

“This training opportunity not only builds the participant’s own capacity to carry out primary screening across the country, but it allows communities in Fiji to access high quality services and early detection of illness and disease.

We’re really pleased to see that Australia’s support at the top can result in tangible results on the ground for Fijian communities,” he said. The Health Ministry aims to increase the frequency of this particular training moving forward so frequent screenings in remote populations can be conducted and the burden of preventable diseases addressed at earlier stages.

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