The Fiji National University’s (FNU), College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences’ (CMNHS) has deeply rooted history in both Fiji and the region. With former national institutions established over a century ago to train students in the medical and nursing fields, many local, regional and international students have studied and graduated from the College.
CMNHS graduates are now employed in the public and private sector healthcare systems across the region.
At present, the College currently has the highest number of regional students at the University, with students from countries such as American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
Hence, the College regularly undertakes regional collaborations, activities and visits from regional neighbours.
Presidential Visit by New Caledonia Delegation
CMNHS was visited by a delegation from New Caledonia that was led by His Excellency the President of New Caledonia, Honourable Louis Mapou.
The team were in Fiji for the 51st Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting and requested a tour of the College campuses and facilities.
CMNHS Acting Dean, Dr Donald Wilson and members of the College’s senior management group welcomed the group on campus. Following a brief presentation on FNU’s history and strategic objectives, Dr Wilson highlighted the programmes offered at the College and answered queries from the delegation regarding quotas and specialist courses.
The group then toured Pasifika Campus and was shown the medical laboratory science, physiotherapy and dental labs and spoke to students regarding their study experiences at FNU before visiting the Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments (RISE) project lab at the Public Health campus in Tamavua.
The delegation concluded the visit at the Nursing Campus, viewing the auditorium and dormitories. HE Mapou said the team were impressed with the staffing and training and teaching resources available at the College.
He commended the College for employing a people-centred approach in its research projects and noted how certain skills and approaches could be implemented in New Caledonia to manage their health systems and efficiently respond to health emergencies.
Tongan Health Minister Visits Students
Tongan students at the College were also paid a visit by the Tongan Minister for Health, Honourable Saia Piukala earlier this month.
“I wanted to visit the students, who are in various undergraduate and postgraduate studies and convey the support of the Tongan government in regard to our students’ studies here at FNU,” Hon Piukala said.
“We also had engaging discussions so that I could see how we could provide support to the students if needed.”
“I know it can be difficult studying and living away from home and their families, so I just wanted to provide words of encouragement and remind them of the support services we offer through other regional agencies here in Fiji.”
Minister Piukala was accompanied by the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Deputy Director-General Science and Capability, Paula Vivili during the visit.
The Minister added that Vivili was appointed as the focal point of contact person between the students, the College and the Tongan Government. Hon Piukala is also an alumnus of the College and was the first regional student to become President of the Fiji School of Medicine Student Association (FSMSA).