Strengthening Health Systems to Support Children with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities in Fiji-A Commentary
AuthorWoolfenden, S; Milner, K; Tora, K; Naulumatua, K; Mataika, R; Smith, F; Lingam, R; Kado, J; Tuibeqa, I
Source TitleInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
University of Melbourne Author/sSmith, Fleur
AffiliationNossal Institute for Global Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsWoolfenden, S., Milner, K., Tora, K., Naulumatua, K., Mataika, R., Smith, F., Lingam, R., Kado, J. & Tuibeqa, I. (2020). Strengthening Health Systems to Support Children with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities in Fiji-A Commentary. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH, 17 (3), https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17030972.
Access StatusOpen Access
Supporting children with neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDDs) is recognized as an increasing priority in Fiji, a middle-income Pacific Island country. Our objective was to describe our approach to developing a model of care and strengthening local leadership in developmental paediatrics in Fiji to ensure high-quality identification, assessment and management of children with NDDs. Paediatric staff at Colonial War Memorial (CWM) Hospital in Suva have worked in partnership with Australian paediatricians to develop the model of care. The platform of continuing medical education during biannual 3 to 4 days of clinic-based teaching with visiting developmental paediatricians from Australia has been used. Since 2010, there have been 15 local and regional paediatric trainees trained. Since 2015, our two local lead paediatric trainees have run a weekly local developmental clinic. In total, 370 children aged 0 to 18 with NDDs have been comprehensively assessed with a detailed history and standardised tools. The model is extending to two divisional hospitals. Research engagement with the team is resulting in the development of a local evidence base. Local, regional and international leadership and collaboration has resulted in increased capacity in the Fijian health system to support children with NDDs.
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