USP Celebrates Fiji’s 50th Anniversary of Independence and Marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete, Honourable Minister for Health and Medical Services was Chief Guest at The University of the South Pacific’s celebrations to commemorate Fiji’s 50th Anniversary of Independence.  The event was also held to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) hosted a morning tea on Friday 9 October that began with a march by students and staff.  Dean FALE, Dr Akanisi Kedrayate thanked the Honourable Minister for Health and Medical Services for gracing the occasion.

On Breast Cancer Awareness, Dr Kedrayate said they were not gathered only to support the cancer victims but to ensure that a positive environment was created and available to them so that they don’t feel alone in the fight against Breast Cancer.

“I hope that we will continue with the spirit of being supportive,” she said.

A donation box was set up to support the important work of the Fiji Cancer Society and staff contributed generously.

Hon Waqainabete spoke about Fiji’s Health Services, COVID-19 and Health Forecast for the next 25 years during the celebrations. He said diseases such as cancer had become part and parcel with what we deal with every day and 80 – 90 percent of treatment is available in Fiji and there is cure, if detected at an early stage.

“Early screening can help deal with cancer as triple assessments are done that includes clinical, radiological and pathological,” Hon Waqainabete said. He recommended that people examine themselves regularly and avoid traditional medicines to cure Breast Cancer.

“It’s important for everyone to understand that early referral is necessary. Some patients used traditional medicines and then sought medical help only when they were in their last stage,” said Dr Waqainabete.

Speaking about the COVID-19 Pandemic that has affected all our lives, the Minister for Health said it is very important to have a healthy lifestyle as many youngsters have died because of COVID-19.

“With COVID-19, we know we have been hit by the one-in-a-century pandemic. We also know that there are more than 30 million people affected worldwide and about 1.5 million have died,” he added.

Honourable Waqainabete said the Fiji Government was keen to ensure that for the next 25 years there is a good public health care system that can support such pandemics.

USP staff members who are Breast Cancer survivors shared their experiences about living with and undergoing treatment for cancer.

Dr Kedreyate extended her appreciation to FALE staff for organising the morning Tea.  She thanked all staff for their generosity in raising funds for the Fiji Cancer Society.

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