The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Fiji group hosted a Pink Ribbon High Tea to support the Fiji Cancer Society Pinktober fundraising month in Holiday Inn, Suva (Friday 23 October). This is the second year of the Pinktober fundraising initiative undertaken by the CWP Fiji group.
Members of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Fiji include Hon, Veena Bhatnagar (Chair), Hon. Salote Radrodro (Deputy Chair), Hon. Premila Kumar, Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa, Hon. Lenora Qereqeretabua, Hon. Rosy Akbar, Hon. Ro Teimumu Kepa, Hon. Selai Adimaitoga, Hon. Lynda Tabuya and Hon. Adi Litia Qionibaravi.
While welcoming the Members of Parliaments, dignitaries and invited guests, the Speaker of Parliament, His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau said it is important to reach everyone who are unsure of their condition.
“It is slowly growing in size, it is getting bigger and it is getting brighter! But the question we have to ask ourselves is – is it getting more effective, are we reaching everyone we want to reach that is, those who are unsure of their condition, those who suffer in silence. Is our message clear and sincere and gently appealing that we are here to help you.”
The objectives of this year’s event are to provide a platform for women Parliamentarians to advocate for reproductive cancer in terms of better services and access to information; highlight the burden placed on women and the inequalities they face as cancer victims; provide a forum where women MPs can meet and engage with key stakeholders to inform their role as MPs and their efforts to improve reproductive health programmes and strengthen health services delivery for women; and raise funds to support the work that the Fiji Cancer Society undertakes.
Ms Salote Qalo, a cancer survivor and the Chief Executive Officer of Fiji Cancer Society, Ms Belinda Chan shared their experiences and works of the Cancer Society during the event. Ms Qalo also undertook a quick session on self-breast examination strategy to detect any sign of breast cancer with all those who were present at the event.
Ms. Chan encouraged men and women to seek early medical advice as there is a lot of patients who present themselves late to the clinic.
“My call to action for you all is, early detection saves life. Do make sure that you check your breast once a month”.
A sum of $4,235.80 was collected in this event and was handed over to the Chief Executive Officer of Fiji Cancer Society by the Speaker and CWP Fiji members.
CWP Fiji member, Hon. Lynda Tabuya described the Pink Ribbon High Tea event a grand success. “This year’s event has broadened the reach, variety of women and some men, not only representatives from diplomatic corp as well as NGOs and CSO and even have community leaders who usually do not attend such events are present here,” said Tabuya.
Also in attendance during the event were members of the Diplomatic corps, representatives from the Fiji Cancer Society, UNDP representatives, cancer survivors, Civil Society Organizations, Non- Government Organizations, and other invited guests.