Child Helpline Fiji is a Fijian Government initiative maintained by the Department of Social Welfare, The Child Helpline aims to prevent and respond to cases of child abuse and exploitation.  Not just for children, the Helpline provides information and support for adults caring for children such as parents and teachers.  In accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Helpline helps to ensure that all Fijian children have the right to be heard and protected.

The Helpline is available 24 hours a day where children or adults may call, for free in relation to children’s welfare or reports on abuse and neglect and be offered information and counselling support as well as be referred to specialist services such as emergency assistance.

Since the Helpline commenced in 2015, a team of four expert telephone counsellors have received over 40,020 calls received to date. Out of that number, counsellors actioned and referred over 4600 calls where they have been able to offer assistance to a child or concerned adult.  Most calls were from female adults, including Fijians of both Itaukei and Indian decent and other islanders, with calls relating to tensions or violence within homes.  Other main reasons for calling related to matters of neglect or related to emotional issues.

Most specifically, the latest statistics from August 2018 indicated that most calls for the month were in relation to psychological issues (fear and anxiety), Physical abuse, gender based violence where children were either victims or witnesses of violence at home and calls for educational needs like stationery. Most calls came from the South- Eastern division (30) followed by the South- Western division (27), Central division (25), North Western division (15) and 7 calls came from the North. In terms of Provinces, most calls came from Ba followed by Rewa. From the 104 calls in August, 77% have been successfully addressed by the Counsellors and are now closed, while 23% cases remain open and are on-going.

Calls to the Helpline are mostly from adults as compared to children hence, the target age range of 0-18 years need more awareness on their rights and responsibilities and usage of the service in order to encourage more children callers.

Child Helpline Fiji continues to provide a professional, compassionate and ethical service 24 hours a day, proving successful in addressing the needs of children and their carers.  It is important that every child in Fiji has equal access to the service.  Given that most calls came from adult females, MSP needs to be able to further focus on children under 18 years at a community level, school, church groups, youth groups and via social media.

Medical Services Pacific is the implementing part of the Ministry of Women Children and Poverty Alleviation and delivers the Child Helpline project and services. MSP was pleased to sign a new contract with the MWCPA to continue the services in 2018.   MSP has two branches in Fiji, with free clinics based in Suva and one in Labasa providing supporting services to families in need.

World Humanitarian Day (WHD) was marked on 19 August and dedicated to recognizing humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly as part of a Swedish-sponsored GA Resolution A/63/L.49 on the Strengthening of the Coordination of Emergency Assistance of the United Nations, and set as 19 August. In the Pacific, there was a Pacific #Humanitarian Heroes campaign to recognize the contribution and work of humanitarian workers in the Pacific. A public photography exhibition was conducted highlighting Pacific humanitarian heroes who have prepared for and responded to any emergencies and disasters in Pacific Island countries in 2017 – 2018.
Medical Services Pacific (MSP) was one of the civil society organisations (CSO’s) that responded to TC Winston and as such we able to submit this photo and to nominate our team members to be recognised for their tireless efforts on our relief outreaches to affected areas. In this photo we can see a part of our team sitting with survivors in the aftermath. Our relief efforts included but was not limited to psycho social, medical and legal support.

 

Medical Services Pacific is rejoicing our visit by MSP’s patron, His Excellency, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau. This visit was to our head office on the 31st October 2017. This visit concludes a month of successful Pinktober events. Events which included a two day open clinic providing free breast examinations and cervical screenings among many other key sexual reproductive health checks.

Demonstrated to His Excellency, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau was our state of the art VIA cryotherapy kit; which is part of MSP’s national campaign to hasten the reduction of cervical cancer and the Post-Exposure Prophylaxis treatment! This is a drug that normally consists of three anti-HIV drugs, from two of the different classes. This is part of MSP’s procedure when catering to sexual assault survivors whom may have potentially been exposed to HIV to prevent becoming infected.

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High Level Delegation Visit to Medical Services Pacific Fiji

An international Delegation visited Medical Services Pacific this week to gain an understanding of project implementation and development in the Pacific. The group included diplomats and development experts from Mexico, Indonesia, Korea, Turkey and Australia. The group were visiting Fiji as part of a Pacific Familiarisation tour.

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We were pleased to provide a progress report and participate in discussions on development challenges. We were able to share with them, aspects of the distinctive work we are doing as awomen’s health and rights NGO in Fiji.  The team displayed all of the elements that are involved in our holistic approach to health care, including the integrated  services provided for free to survivors of violence and abuse or neglect. The presentations of the day included demonstrations on the application of the Medical Forensic Rape Kit, the MSP Contraceptive Choice Kit as well as our Cryo-gun used in cryotherapy, which is part of our cervical cancer treatment and prevention program.  The MSP free clinic is open in Suva Mondays to Saturdays and opening in Labasa to provide health care and social services to women youth and children.

 

Fiji still has high rates of teenage pregnancy and 80% of the clients that we treat in our post rape care clinic are under 18 years of age. Due to this, it is critical that funding for family planning is supported in Fiji. MSP is a family planning service provider supported by DFAT and partners such as the United Nations and our clinical and educational services are specifically tailored to reduce rates of teenage pregnancy, teach respectful relationships and aim to strengthen child protection services. We provide a broad range of medical and social services. To date, we have assisted over 78,000 clinical clients since opening our Suva Clinic. We look forward to opening our clinic in Labasa in the next few weeks.” Ms J. Poole.

Medical Services Pacific fully supports the movement that is My Oceans Matter 2017, Pacific year for the Ocean. We encourage everyone to do their part in making changes in their everyday lives towards having a healthier ocean. Visit www.pacificdf.org for information on how to get involved.

 

#Myoceanmaters #PYO2017

#Myoceanmaters #PYO2017

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