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Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease in the Pacific Island Countries

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a significant and common health problem in most Pacific island countries and worldwide. CVDs are the number one cause of death in the world. In the Western Pacific region, there is a 16.2% chance of dying of a CVD, cancer or diabetes between the ages of 30 and 70. Some of the most common types of CVDs include heart attacks, raised blood pressure, stroke and heart failure.

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How can education help us achieve Universal Health Coverage?

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a state where citizens can access health care services without incurring financial hardship. This means that all people and communities have access to quality promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services that they need. The three pillars of UHC are equity in access, quality of service,

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“I am and I will” – Taking Personal Action against Cancer | World Cancer Day

Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, with 9.6 million people dying from the disease each year (Bray et. al., 2018). Monday 4th February is World Cancer Day when individuals and organisations unite to significantly reduce illness and death caused by cancer. Led by the Union of International Cancer Control, the day specifically aims to rally the international community to raise awareness of the disease and encourages its prevention, detection and treatment.

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Antimicrobial stewardship: challenges in India

For POLHN’s self-paced course, “Antimicrobial Stewardship Programmes in Hospitals”, students are required to complete a final assignment outlining some of their experiences. This week, one student –  Dr B. Ravichandran from India – shared some unique insights. His antimicrobial stewardship training and experiences make for an interesting and enlightening read!

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A Tribute to Our Nurses

As I prepare to pen this article, I am reminded of Hippocrates’ saying. He believed that the goal of medicine is "to cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always." For me, learned exactly this through daily example from the amazing nurses I work with.

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Delivering Quality Care Depends on Health Worker’s Knowledge, Skills and Attitude

A workforce that delivers quality care is the key objective for any health organisation, however obtaining the right ingredients for the perfect system has always been one of the key challenges. The term “quality” is also very subjective as every consumer has their own perception of what the perfect health sector would look like.

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Antimicrobial Stewardship Program: From the Philippines to Saudi Arabia

I am a Filipino expatriate who works in Saudi Arabia. I have worked in the Philippines but there is no antimicrobial stewardship program in that small hospital. And since it is a third world country, we lack resources. Currently, I am privileged to work in a 500 bed capacity tertiary hospital in Saudi  Arabia with good supply of resources and manpower.

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Get Better Results in Life Through Physical Activity

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines physical activity as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. Physical activity is often mistaken with exercise. Exercise is a subcategory of physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive, and purposeful in the sense that the improvement or maintenance of one or more components of physical fitness is the objective. Physical activity in the workplace Studies have shown that people who are physically active have higher chances of living longer. Moreover,

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Betel nut use in the Pacific

Betel nut is the fourth most commonly used psychoactive substance in the world after tobacco, alcohol and caffeine. Its main active psychoactive component, called arecoline, is thought to cause adverse health effects. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) stated that the betel nut is a carcinogen

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POLHN’s New Digital Certificate Verification Platform

Over the last decade, the accessibility to cheap and reliable internet has bridged data transmission gaps. Since everyone is equally able to acquire the same information through the internet, it has become necessary for companies, organisations, institutions and universities to safeguard their users and maintain their authenticity.

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Upskilling health workers for the future

Pacific Open Learning Health Net (POLHN) is continuously adapting to prepare the Pacific health professionals by upskilling health workers for the future. It works against the rapid and drastic changes in the fields of non-communicable diseases, communicable diseases, and climate change. This is known as the triple disease burden.

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Making free continuing education more accessible

Educational institutions are now making more and more health courses available for free online. By providing free online nursing courses with certificates of completion, remote health workers benefit, and institutions fulfil their corporate social responsibility. Free continuing education is the future.

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Online opportunities for continuing nursing education

The nursing profession is the largest single health profession in Fiji. The Ministry of Health understands how important nurses are and each year allocates tens of thousands of dollars to provide continuing nursing education. Although it is a costly investment, it is well worth it because it ameliorates nursing standards and practice, which in turn improves patient satisfaction and safety.

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Free online courses now available for nurses

The Pacific Open Learning Health Net in partnership with the Ministry of Health has established 24 internet connected e-learning centres within all the sub-divisional and divisional hospitals in the country where nurses can access free online courses which will help upgrade their knowledge and skills.

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POLHN’s free online courses improve education opportunities for Pacific health workers

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has put extensive efforts into providing free e-learning courses over the past 14 years through Pacific Open Learning Health Net (POLHN). This strives to bridge the gaps between geographically dispersed health workers and address their growing needs for continuing professional development (CPD).

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Being a Nurse, Wife and Mother

Sister Devina Gaundan is a Nurse Unit Manager in the Female Medical Ward/Coronary Care Unit at Labasa Hospital. Thanks to POLHN, she will be graduating with a Master in Health Service Management this year. POLHN is a platform that enables students to explore the world of online learning. To read more about online learning through POLHN, click here. Devina recently shared some of her thoughts with POLHN in her first blog piece. See below to read her thoughts. 

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6 Seconds to Get the Nursing Job

The idea is to catch the recruiter’s attention in the first 6 seconds. Studies have shown that it takes 6 seconds to decide if the applicant is the best-fit for a role. To make an impression it is important to keep the information as simple as possible so that readers can skim and identify your selling points. The CV should provide the summary of your experience and achievements.

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Is online education the missing key to a diverse health workforce?

New online healthcare courses are helping professionals in the Pacific to develop their skills and create a more diverse workforce. Pacific Island countries are facing a serious skills gap. The global shortage of trained healthcare professionals is estimated to reach a deficit of 18 million workers by 2030. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 4.45 health workers are needed per 1000 people in order to achieve the full spectrum of essential, quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care, in other words, universal health coverage (UHC).

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One Person Dies Every 40 Seconds Due to Suicide

Every 40 seconds someone dies due to suicide and many more attempt suicide. Close to 800,000 people die every year due to suicide. Anyone anywhere can become its victim. World Health Organisation World Suicide Report calls upon individuals, communities and countries to act now. Suicides are preventable, however:

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Improving Online Learning Experience for CWM Hospital Nurses

The need for nurses to be knowledgeable, highly trained and well-educated is becoming essential. Today, nurses are required to make complex clinical decisions, that 25 years ago would almost undoubtedly have been made by doctors. The nursing scope is governed by the need driven by the contemporary population. This has increased the need for change in nursing education and continuing professional development to ensure that nurses and midwives are well equipped with knowledge and skills to make more complex decisions.

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Tuberculosis in the Pacific Island Countries

On a global scale, the burden of TB in the Pacific is relatively small, but in some Pacific Island Countries, for example, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, and Solomon Islands, their individual case notification rates are higher than the average notification rate of 95 per 100000 population in the Western Pacific Region (Global tuberculosis report 2017, WHO).

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Fight Infections and Spread the Word With our Infection Control Course for Nurses

Infections are diseases caused by infectious agents (known collectively as pathogens) such as viruses, bacteria or fungi. Colds and flus are familiar infections that all of you have experienced at some point in your lives. New infections begin when pathogens leave the body of their host (the infected individual in which the pathogens are multiplying) and enter a new one.

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Memories from the Old Capital

For my second quarter, I went to Levuka - widely known as the Old Capital of Fiji - for my duty travel.   It was the best decision I have ever made as there is no denying Levuka’s visual appeal. It’s one of the few places in the South Pacific that has retained its heritage sites and national heritage buildings although many were damaged by Cyclone Winston in 2016. Nevertheless, it is a super friendly place to be and everyone is very welcoming to visitors.  It didn’t feel like my first visit as in just two days I had nearly met the entire town.

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World Immunization Week Celebrated at Nuffield Health Centre

Nuffield health centre celebrated World Immunization Week in Tamavua on Thursday 26 th April. It is celebrated in the last week of April. According to WHO, this year’s theme — ‘Protected Together, #VaccinesWork’ encourages people to put in more efforts to increase immunization coverage for the greater good.

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The Life of Zone Nurses

Public health nurses, also known as zone nurses, focus on developing better community based health practices. They do this by focusing on schools and villages in their local area that are underserved and that have vulnerable populations. Among these populations are elderly bedridden patients and primary school students who need vaccinations and other types of health care.

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Vilimaina's CPD Journey

Vilimaina is a Fijian nurse with various CPD experiences, including a post in Iraq with the Royal Fiji Military Forces, and different educational programs around Fiji. Below is a first-hand account of her journey.

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Continuing Nursing Education: Breaking the Barriers

The nursing pledge to maintain and elevate professional standards is reflected through the commitment of health workers towards lifetime learning. This dedication to continuing professional development guarantees advanced and contemporary patient care. However, access to affordable continuing nursing education remains a barrier.

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Transforming and scaling up health professionals' education

POLHN continuing professional development (CPD) courses focus on lessons learnt, best practices, and evidence-based practice. In this way, they are designed to boost knowledge, skills, attitudes and performance of health workers. Courses are designed to improve the overall health care system by enhancing the competencies of the front line workers in the areas of clinical and public health education, policy and regulation.

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The Importance of Choosing the Right CPD

Medical education is rapidly changing due to evolving medical science. In particular, societal expectations and the increased disease burden are affecting this. Contemporary healthcare therefore now demands that doctors and nurses continuously improve their competencies in order to achieve an adaptive skill mix. Continuing professional development (CPD) is an ideal way for health workers to brush up on their knowledge in this way.

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Dealing with Zika

The new POLHN course, “The care and support of people affected by complications associated with the Zika virus”, will be available soon. Read below to find out more about Zika. 

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Domestic violence in the Pacific: what can be done

The Pacific has some of the world’s highest rates of domestic violence. In Fiji, 66% of women experience emotional, physical or domestic violence in their lifetime. This is more than twice the global average. In Solomon Islands, one in two women reported violence by their partners.

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Tobacco Free Pacific: A goal to make every day World No Tobacco Day

31 May is World No Tobacco Day, which aims to raise awareness about the negative health effects of tobacco and tobacco use, which lead to more than 7 million deaths worldwide, including 600,000 from second-hand smoke.

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Dedicated e-learning Platform

How Pacific island countries combined forces to create an e-learning platform that builds the skills of doctors and nurses and improves health care

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