14 Feb 2006

Cancer levels soar among Fiji nurses - union official

4:06 pm on 14 February 2006

An alarming number of Fiji nurses are reported to be dying from cancer.

The FIJI SUN reports that sixteen nurses died of cancer in 2004 and 2005.

It quotes the general secretary of the Fiji Nurses Association, Kuini Lutua, as saying this is highest number of deaths from cancer ever recorded in the profession.

Mrs Lutua says previously only one or two nurses used to die from cancer each year.

But she says the death of eight nurses from cancer in 20904 and another eight in 2005 is alarming.

She says another 24-year old nurse died from blood cancer last month and two senior nurses from Labasa Hospital have returned from receiving chemotherapy overseas, one of whom is still admitted in the hospital.

Mrs Lutua is attributing the plight of the nurses to poor working conditions and stress from the long hours of work.