Sunday, May 26, 2024
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Ministry condemns media report on syringes

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services says recent media reports claiming that medical professionals are providing syringes to members of the public are unfounded and inaccurate.

They said for the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, the Maternity and Paediatric units only provide insulin syringes and needles to insulin-dependent diabetic mothers and children who cannot afford to acquire their supply from their local pharmacies.

They said these patients are well known to their medical teams, and this is done to ensure that the diabetic patients receive the correct dose of insulin when required.

They added that too little or too much insulin can hurt the patients.

“Recently, the Ministry has been made aware of members of the public visiting health facilities with intentions to steal syringes and needles for their use. Medical staff at our health facilities have been advised to report such individuals who engage in or display suspicious behaviour to the police for their further investigation and actions.”

The Ministry said that earlier this week, allegations were raised by members of the public against health staff at the Qarani Health Center in Gau Island for distributing syringes and needles from the facility to community members.

“Our investigation into the incident revealed that on the day in question, the Nurse on duty risked her safety and security to ensure that a patient she was treating received the care he needed, and at the same time ensuring that the accompanying youths who displayed suspicious behaviour with the intention of stealing syringes and needles from the centre, could not access them.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry is encouraging the public, particularly in our rural communities to support the work of health staff in their respective communities and help protect health staff members who, in some stations are on their own, against threats to their safety and security.

In his recent visits to health facilities and communities around the country, the Minister for Health Dr. Ratu Atonio Lalabalavu, stressed that health workers face many challenges at work, especially when leave behind family members and loved ones to serve the people.

Dr Lalabalavu reiterated that the Ministry will not hesitate to remove health staff members from facilities where their lives are threatened, and where community leaders and members cannot ensure the safety and security of health staff serving in their communities.

He said the Ministry of Health remains committed to ensuring quality health services from our health workers to our people, towards our vision of a healthy population in Fiji.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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