[ Source : Supplied ]
The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development, launched a new partnership with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to strengthen public health communications and community engagement with an emphasis on risk communications and community engagement for pandemics and other disease outbreaks and emergencies.
Following a MOU signing yesterday, USAID handed over media supplies through its Breakthrough ACTION project, implemented by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Program.
This will provide technical assistance to the Ministry’s communications team to bolster their efforts in keeping Fijians up to date with critical health-related information.
USAID/Pacific Islands Mission Director Zema Semunegus says that lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the vital role of communications in saving lives by providing critical information to the public, dispelling rumours and misinformation, and galvanizing community action
She says through this partnership, USAID seeks to assist the Ministry in strengthening its health messaging and communications capacity in order to help raise awareness among the public of specific health issues and to promote healthier behaviours.
Ministry of Health, Acting Permanent Secretary, Doctor Jemesa Tudravu says the ministry had identified for some time that risk communication is an area of need and requires strengthening.
He says they are delighted that USAID has come on board and is willing to support the ministry through the donation of much-needed risk communication equipment as well as assist in capacity building.