Minister for Health and Medical Services Hon Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete this morning urged University students to make better choices towards their health and well-being in order to have a healthy lifestyle.

The Minister was officiating at the USP Health and Wellness Week launch.

“Changing mindset at the Tertiary institutions, therefore, forms an important part of the solution to health and well-being and an event as such is a great platform of empowering students to make informed choices for their health and wellness,” Minister Ifereimi Waqainabete said.

The minister also revealed that those below the age of 25 in the Pacific suffered from non-communicable diseases (NCD) which mostly consisted of youths and students.


“Existing Health Status report in the Pacific shows significant health problems in NCD, CD, STI, HIV and others affecting children, youths and young adults,” Minister Waqainabete said.

Minister Waqainabete also highlighted environment-friendly ways in which individuals can make their health and well-being better.

“Improve the menu of sports and exercise available to students on campus such as to walking and cycling rather than travelling by cars,” Minister Waqainabete said.

The USP Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education Professor Richard Coll said USP students need to take heed of the messages given by the health ministry to prevent NCDs.

This is the seventh year where USP has adopted the idea of health and wellness and fitness.

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As a final year student at USP Laucala campus, Meresini Tagiteci said that the opening of the health and wellness week is a great step taken by the government to help reduce NCDs in the country.

“NCD is a big problem in Fiji and the launching of the health week is a good initiative of the government because students will learn about good meals and sporting activities,” Miss Tagiteci said.