The Australian Government through the Vuvale Partnership has provided $0.3million (FJD $327,022) to the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation to assist in the recovery and response measures for the eight existing Aged Care Homes in Fiji.
In ensuring a more efficient recruitment of a total of 112 staff, DFAT has signed an Agreement between the TISI Sangam and the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation. The TISI Sangam agency shall be responsible for the recruitment aspects of the partnership. The Aged Care Homes are expected to engage additional human resources by October 2021 with recruitment logistics currently under way.
The assistance by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is targeted at adding value to the frontline services in these Aged Care Homes whereas each Home will receive a total of 14 staff over a period of 12 weeks. These 12 staff would comprise of 10 Caregivers, 2 House Keepers, 1 Cook and 1 Laundry hand.
“Caring for the elderly and the most vulnerable in society is a key priority for the Australian Government. Therefore we are very pleased to support the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation with their efforts to increase frontline health staff at aged care facilities across Fiji to ensure older members of society continue to receive high quality health support services during this time. Australia remains committed to standing with our Vuvale as we face the challenges of COVID-19 together,” said Australian High Commissioner, John Feakes.
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar while acknowledging the timely assistance stated that it will create a positive impact on the quality delivery of services in the respective care settings.
“Since, the 2nd waves of the COVID-19 outbreak in April 2021, most frontline workers in the existing Aged Care Homes, have spent time away from loved ones. The timely assistance by DFAT, will create a positive impact on the quality delivery of services in the respective care settings," Minister Akbar said.
Prevention and Safety protocols are currently being practiced and monitored on a daily basis in the aged care facilities. Even though the virus reached some of the homes, the protocols were in place. Golden Age Home Suva had 39 positive cases of infections within a month and was able to achieve a 100% recovery. Now all staff and residents are fully vaccinated.
The Ministry manages three state homes for older persons and there are 8 residential facilities in total that care for older persons in Fiji.
The Ministry continues to acknowledge the sacrifice and hard work of the front liners who are managing the prevention, response and recovery COVID-19 measures.