Saving lives with support to Fiji’s Vaccination Program
30 July, 2012
Fiji Ministry of Health Officials and members of the AusAID-funded ‘Fiji Health Sector Support Program’ unloading some of the new vaccines at the Fiji Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Services in Suva. Photo: Jason Chute
Australia is providing over $5 million to introduce three new life-saving vaccines to Fiji. The introduction of the Pneumococcal vaccine, the Rotavirus vaccine and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine into Fiji’s Health system will immunize thousands of Fijians against pneumonia, diarrhoea, sepsis and cervical cancer.
Two of the new vaccines, Pneumococcal and Rotavirus, will be given to Fiji’s newborns from September this year, while the HPV vaccine will be administered to young girls from next year.
AusAID is providing more than $5 million over the next four years to assist Fiji’s Ministry of Health implement the vaccination program.
“This is an important milestone in the history of Australian funding to Fiji’s health sector and demonstrates one of Australia’s key aid strategies – saving lives,” said the Acting Australian High Commissioner, Mr Glenn Miles.
Mr Miles said the intention is to administer the Pneumococcal and Rotavirus vaccines to 22,000 babies in Fiji over the next four years.
“In Australia, these safe and effective vaccines have been responsible for a significant reduction in the hospitalisation rate of children,” Mr Miles said.
“Since the introduction of the Rotavirus vaccine in 2007, Australia has experienced a record reduction in hospital admissions by 70 per cent.”
According to the Australian Department for Health, the introduction of the Pneumococcal vaccine has also resulted in a significant reduction of more than 70 per cent of hospitalisations from Pneumococcal disease in Australian children aged under one.
The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine has also contributed to a significant decline in cervical abnormalities in women under 20 years of age, within six years of the vaccine’s introduction in Australia.
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AusAID's health program in Fiji
Last Reviewed: 30 July, 2012