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The Fijian government is facing difficulty to procure the meningococcal disease strain C vaccine.
Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said they’re working with the World Health Organisation and UNICEF to get the vaccines in the country.
Sayed-Khaiyum said the vaccines will be administered to around 345,000 Fijians under nineteen-years of age.
However, the huge demand for the vaccine from other countries is making it difficult for Fiji to procure it.
“We had originally approved ten million dollars but we may now need to approve up to $40million (US$20 million) because of the huge pressure on accessibility of these vaccines. There’s two issues; one is the pricing and the other is the stock pile of these vaccines to be made available.”
He said the WHO and UNICEF are trying to source the vaccine for the government as it’s made by large pharmaceutical companies.
He said the Health Ministry’s Acting Permanent Secretary met with the WHO and UNICEF this morning to negotiate on the procurement of vaccines.
Meanwhile, Kidney transplant is very costly. This was highlighted by Minister for Health, Rosy Akbar in parliament.
Akbar said a budget of $1.3 million (US$639,000) has been allocated to those who have been diagnosed with kidney disease.
She said this only applies to those who cannot be treated locally.
“We provided cost for airfares, now we have revised the policy to assist those patients who need kidney transplant and we have three categories and these categories include airfares, second one is airfares and treatment cost and then we have full treatment cost for those Fijians who cannot provide.”
Akbar says before any treatment for kidney transplant is approved it is very important to get a compatible donor from within family members.
The current cost of kidney dialysis provided by private facilities is about $250 (US$123) per session which is approximately $36,000 (US$17,713) per year.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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