Tetra Tech is working in partnership with the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) to strengthen its public health service delivery and health systems by supporting information technology systems, management capacity, policy and planning, procurement processes, and workforce development.

Access to quality health care is an ongoing challenge in Fiji. The highly dispersed but rapidly urbanizing island population presents complex challenges in a country that has one of the highest rates of premature deaths in the Pacific caused by non-communicable diseases, particularly diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. The region also experiences poor maternal and child health, increasing the needs for mental health and disability services, and threatening the emergence and re-emergence of communicable diseases.

Fiji is extremely vulnerable to the health effects of climate change. Extreme weather events in this region can cause death, disability, or disease. Disasters put the health system itself at risk, potentially damaging hospitals and clinics and injuring or displacing health workers. Climate change can exacerbate already difficult circumstances, as the increased disease burden results in overstretched health-care services and a greater risk of disease and death among vulnerable groups, especially young children, women of reproductive age, elderly people, and people with disabilities.

Tetra Tech is supporting Fiji’s health sector to respond to its health challenges through a new five-year Health Program, under the Fiji Program Support Facility, that includes an investment of AUD$20 million over five years. The Health Program will help Fiji better deliver curative and preventative health services, particularly in relation to material, newborn, and child health; the priority noncommunicable diseases of heart, diabetes, and female cancers; and communicable disease outbreaks. Additionally, the program will strengthen Fiji’s health system by focusing on improvements in planning and budgeting, leadership, management, workforce, and health information.

Working in partnership with MHMS to achieve its stated National Strategic Plan objectives, Tetra Tech will provide expert advice to the MHMS to help develop new initiatives, systems and processes, supply equipment and key supplies, provide training support, manage civil society organisation grants, and support ministry-led initiatives and innovations.

In response to Fiji’s 2018 Meningococcal C outbreak, Tetra Tech provided specialist advice on the best response and contributed funding for the vaccination of more than 300,000 children and youth. Tetra Tech helped the MHMS design and establish a new Vaccine Preventable Disease Unit to identify outbreaks more quickly—reducing the need to send specimens offshore for testing—and respond quicker, ideally reducing the impact of these diseases.

Tetra Tech installed important satellite communication systems for remote health centers to enable communities to respond and direct recovery efforts following disasters. We supported the MHMS to develop a disaster preparedness manual for community health workers and facilitated the delivery of 1,000 water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) kits to MHMS for distribution to affected communities as part of the Australian government’s continued support to Fiji’s recovery from Tropical Cyclones Keni and Josie.

Tetra Tech is supporting MHMS to train health staff in areas such as obstetrics, child health, infection control, customer service, and the management of communicable diseases. The training includes gender equality and social inclusion education for trainers at health facilities and MHMS senior management to build understanding of the ways in which different groups access health care.

Tetra Tech established the MHMS Health Civil Society Organization Program to deliver quality and cost-efficient services for WASH, non-communicable diseases, maternal health, reproductive health, and adolescent health. We also established a program to strengthen maternal and newborn services at sub-divisional hospitals, including an enhanced package of care that will be piloted to improve access to and quality of services for expectant mothers.

Tetra Tech will deliver programs to enhance quality and patient safety systems; update guidelines and develop a services plan to strengthen annual budgeting and financial management; enhance MHMS’s human resources information system; and provide an information system to help screen and track patients with cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Tetra Tech is providing sustainable, institutional capacity building to support MHMS in providing solutions to Fiji’s health challenges.