The Australian Aid Program has provided over F$400,000 to fund the construction of a new Nursing Station at Loma outside Sigatoka.
The existing Nursing Station is located within the flood plain of the Sigatoka River and was badly affected by the January 2009 floods where extensive damage was caused to equipment, furniture and the station's stock of pharmaceuticals.
The new Nursing Station will be located on higher ground that is unlikely to be flooded. It will also be located in an area that will make it easier for mothers and children to access health services.
The Counsellor for the Australian Aid Program in Fiji, Sarah Goulding turned over the first sod of the construction project.
"I'm delighted to be turning the first sod for the construction of the new Nursing Station. The Australian Government hasn't forgotten the devastation caused by the floods of 2009 and our commitment to assist the people of Fiji continues", Ms Goulding said.
The new Nursing Station will also include new accommodation quarters creating a permanently staffed, safe health facility that can deliver health services in times of disasters and emergencies.
"Our great hope is that the new Nursing Station is a facility that provides the people of Loma, Narewa, Nasovatava, Naduri, Nakalavo and Nakabuta with a facility that is not at risk of flooding and is thus available during times of disaster and emergencies", Ms Goulding said.
Ministry of Health's Acting Permanent Secretary, Dr Elono Tora said the new nursing station was timely as people of the area needed to have the service readily available for them. Dr Tora said it was always tough for members of the community in the area to get to health facilities because of issues like transport.
"We are always grateful to all those who come forward to help us. This assistance will go a long way in ensuring the people of the area will have a facility close by where they can easily access health service", he said.