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DF Documentary chronicles the COVID crisis in Fiji.

Nirvasha Kumar

25 Feb 2022

Dialogue Fiji launched a video documentary “Riding the COVID waves” on 25th February 2022 at the Premium Cinema at Damodar City in Suva. The video documentary chronicles the covid pandemic as it unfolded in Fiji, including its impacts on the lives of Fijians.

The documentary was produced as part of Dialogue Fiji’s project “Strengthening Citizen Engagement in Fiji’s Covid-19 Response” that is funded by the Commonwealth Foundation.

The General Manager of Fiji’s Covid Response Unit, Dr Anaseini Maisema was the Chief Guest at the event where she talked about the Ministry of Health’s efforts to contain the pandemic in Fiji.

“At some point during these past 2 years nothing made sense outside the shadow of the pandemic. The horrendous number of deaths and families bereaved; the destruction of businesses and livelihoods; the harms to mental health and the countless lost opportunities were somethings we as a nation had to fight for collectively,” she said.

Dr Maisema acknowledged that the efforts and co-operation of Fijians has enabled them to contain the outbreak. She acknowledged the efforts of civil society organisations such as Dialogue Fiji in raising awareness on COVID-19 response through their initiatives.”

Speaking at the event, the Executive Director of DF, Nilesh Lal said that effectively addressing the impacts of a pandemic of this scale requires a whole of society approach.
“Whilst statutory authorities are often the drivers of the response, the engagement of citizens and their co-operation remains critical to achieving the intended objectives of interventions,” said Lal.

“As part of this Commonwealth Foundation funded project, we convened several deliberative forums, collected concerns of people, conducted research on aspects such as vaccine hesitancy, and submitted policy recommendations. We also created opportunities for ordinary Fijians to engage directly with top policy makers at Fiji’s Ministry of Health and Medical Services,” said Lal.

He also thanked the Commonwealth Foundation for supporting the project and everyone that participated in it.
The programme concluded with the distribution of a DF compiled report under the same project ‘Parents’ Intentions and Perceptions about COVID-19 Vaccination for their Children'.
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