17 Mar 2014

Programme aims to improve medical access for Fiji squatter settlements

12:31 pm on 17 March 2014

Residents in some squatter settlements in Fiji have been receiving basic healthcare training as part of an effort to improve access for some of the country's poorest residents.

The health manager for Save the Children Fiji, which is running the project, Ashweeni Lata, says the community leaders will be the first point of contact on health issues to decide whether people need further medical attention.

Ms Lata says trying to get healthcare for people in these settlements is often confronting and expensive, but it's hoped this programme will break down the barriers.

"These are the informal communities that normally get missed out from healthcare services. So we just found out that one of these communities, the zoners that are in charge of these particular areas has never visited this particular community. So that's where we come in, to get them in contact with the health services and the Ministry of Health."

Ashweeni Lata says the programme is already seeing results, with some of the leaders arranging clean ups in an attempt to prevent dengue fever.