In a significant gesture of bilateral cooperation, the Government of India handed over a consignment of Anti-Retroviral (ARV) drugs, valued at over FJ$280,000, to the Fijian Government at the Ministry of Health and Medical Services yesterday.
P.S. Karthigeyan, the High Commissioner for India, presented the life-saving drugs to Fiji’s Minister for Health and Medical Services, Dr. Atonio Rabici Lalabalavu.
Key figures including former Speaker of the Parliament and UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for the Pacific, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Health, Dr. James Fong, Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Jemesa Tudravu, Head of Family Health, Dr. Rachel Devi were in attendance.
Emphasizing the strong bond, Karthigeyan said cooperation in the healthcare sector is a key area of focus in their bilateral development partnership and India is privileged to contribute to the Fijian Government’s efforts in addressing this major challenge.
He also highlighted the transformative role of Indian medicine manufacturers in the global fight against HIV and reassured,
“India remains committed to working even more closely with Fiji in improving access to quality healthcare.”
Expressing gratitude, Minister for Health and Medical Services, Dr. Lalabalavu, remarked, “We deeply appreciate the Government and the people of India for this generous donation of life-saving drugs, especially at this critical juncture.”
He discussed Fiji’s proactive measures against the escalating HIV cases.
In addition to the ARV drugs, the donated consignment also contained a select amount of Tuberculosis medicines, further reinforcing Fiji’s medical supplies through India’s grant assistance.