Fiji

INFORMAS in Fiji and the other Pacific Island countries is run by Dr Jillian Wate (with support from Pacific Research Centre for the Prevention of Obesity and Non-communicable Diseases (C-POND), Fiji National University in Fiji and Dr Stefanie Vandevijvere and Professor Boyd Swinburn from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

INFORMAS in Fiji is an innovative component of the Pacific Monitoring Alliance for obesity/Non-communicable Disease Actions (MANA) http://www.pacificncdnetwork.org/pacific-mana.html, an effort to monitor and benchmark progress in food policies and environments to strengthen the accountability systems for actions on NCDs in the Pacific region.  

INFORMAS benchmarking or the rating workshop for the food environment module (Food EPI) will be undertaken for Fiji in September/October by Dr Jillian Wate and Mrs Gade Waqa (PhD Candidate with Deakin University). Process has started which includes the creation of a table of evidence on the current food environment in Fiji and logistics for the planned training. The data collection and analysis will finish by the end of October 2017, with the report to stakeholders and publication planned for December 2017 to February 2018. There are plans in place for similar process to take place in three more Pacific Island countries in 2017 to 2018.

In addition, most of the INFORMAS modules have been piloted in Fiji in 2013 and 2014. The brief update on each module is presented in the Table below.

Acknowledgements / Funders

The initial funding for this research in Fiji was the New Zealand grant through the University of Auckland. There are efforts in place to secure grants for the expansion of this work in the Pacific region.

Dr Jillian T Wate

Deputy Director of Research

Pacific Research Centre for the Prevention of Obesity and Non-communicable Diseases (C-POND)

College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Fiji National University, Fiji

Phone: +323 3254

E-mail: jillian.wate@fnu.ac.fj


Mrs Gade Waqa

Assistant Professor in Primary Health Care (NCD)

School of Public Health and Primary Care

College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Fiji National University, Fiji

Phone: +3311700 Ext 3859

E-mail: gade.waqa@fnu.ac.fj

Module Status (as of May 2018) Outputs
Public Sector

(Food EPI)

  • Food-EPI Expert Rating (FEER) Workshop to be conducted in September/October 2017.
  • Table of Evidence and validation by Experts in progress.
  • Technical Report for Food-EPI to be completed by December 2017 to February 2018.
  • Training for benchmarking workshop completed, review of evidence
  • Updating and validation of Evidence
  • Finalising participants and planning for benchmarking workshop
  • Benchmarking workshop scheduled for June 12-13, 2018
In progress
Private Sector
  • Completed as part of PhD work by Melissa Mialon in 2015 for Fiji under the supervision of Dr. Gary Sacks and Professor Swinburn.
  • Publication available
First assessment completed
Food Composition
  • Store survey conducted in Fiji.
  • Publication available
  • Requires further analysis
  • Participating in FoodSwitch with Bruce Neale
Food Labelling
  •  Store surveys conducted in Fiji, requires further analysis of claims
Publication of claims assessment in progress
Food Promotion
  • Television: data collection completed for Fiji, Tonga, American Samoa and New Caledonia. Second data collection in Tonga
  • Sports sponsorship/ street advertising completed in Fiji
  • Protocol adapted for Tonga and assessment done
  • TV, radio, billboards, posters on shops near schools, sponsorship
  • Report for WHO, Pacific Office
  • Seeking permission to publish
Second data collection in Tonga in progress
Food Prices Not planned for the moment NA
Food Retail
  • Pilot completed in Fiji and currently underway for Tonga
  • Protocol adapted for Tonga and assessment done
  • Type and proportion of retail outlets around schools
  • Report for WHO Pacific Office
  • Seeking permission to publish
Publication in progress (for Fiji), data collection in Tonga
Food Provision
  • Pilot completed in Fiji and Cook Islands
Publication in progress (for Fiji)
Food Trade & Investment
  • Pilot completed in Fiji, with two publications completed

Ravuvu, A., Friel, S., Thow, A. M., Snowdon, W., & Wate, J. (2017). Protocol to monitor trade agreement food-related aspects: the Fiji case study. Health Promotion International, dax020.

Ravuvu, A., Friel, S., Thow, A. M., Snowdon, W., & Wate, J. (2017). Monitoring the impact of trade agreements on national food environments: trade imports and population nutrition risks in Fiji. Globalization and Health13(1), 33.

Tolley, H., Snowdon, W., Wate, J., Durand, A. M., Vivili, P., McCool, J., … & Richards, N. (2016). Monitoring and accountability for the Pacific response to the non-communicable diseases crisis. BMC Public Health16(1), 958. Available: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/16/958/email?from=email

Mialon M, Swinburn B, Wate J, Tukana I, Sacks G. Monitoring the corporate political activity of the food industry with regard to public health in low and middle income countries: lessons from Fiji. Globalization, 2016;12(1):1

Snowdon, W., Raj, A., Reeve, E., Guerrero, R. L., Fesaitu, J., Cateine, K., & Guignet, C. (2013). Processed foods available in the Pacific Islands. Globalization and Health9(1), 53.

Hope, S. F., Snowdon, W., Carey, L. B., & Robinson, P. (2013). ‘Junk food’ promotion to children and adolescents in Fiji. Fiji Journal of Public Health,2(1), 27-35.

Astika, R., Snowdon, W., & Drauna, M. Exposure to advertising of ‘junk food’ in Fiji. 2013. Fiji Journal of Public Health, 2(1), 36-37.

The initial funding for this research in Fiji was the New Zealand grant through the University of Auckland. There are efforts in place to secure grants for the expansion of this work in the Pacific region.

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