From The Crowd

Preventing drowning – Accounting for a greater loss of life annually

The United Nations General Assembly passed its first-ever Resolution on Global Drowning Prevention (A/75/L.76) during the 75th session on April 28, 2021. The resolution was proposed by Bangladesh and Ireland, and co-sponsored by more than...

4th May

Skills sector reform – Institutional strengthening in Vanuatu

By ELLIS SILAS, JERROL ARNHAMBAT, FENDA SAM and ANTHONY BAILEY In recognition of the centrality of human resource development to economic growth outcomes, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)-funded skills development programs around the Pacific region have been supporting skills sector reform and institutional strengthening since the late 1990s. The need to...

2nd May

Dismal dogs and healthy walks

As if I haven’t had enough to put up with in dodging Covid-19, avoiding the uncomfortable consequences of a strange condition to do with giant cells attacking arteries and a fat head called ‘Moonface’ as a consequence of life-saving steroid treatment. Not to mention the unsightly bruising decorating my arms and legs because of the...

1st May

Coping with lockdowns

Greetings readers, it has indeed been a very difficult and trying time for all of us as we enter our second week of lockdown measures Fiji wide. It is a daily struggle for many families and loved ones as they have to spend long periods of time together in confined spaces, plus the added pressure...

‘Can the subaltern speak’ – Arrival of a ‘tsunami’ of cases

With the arrival of a “tsunami” of cases with variants amid trying vaccination drives, the COVID-19 pandemic has become a horror for the entire world. This virus has not spared anybody, where the elite may have the privilege of private care clinics, but the downtrodden or subalterns fail to make ends meet. Will ever the...

Vitamin D testing

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble steroid hormone precursor that is mainly produced in the skin by exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is biologically inert and must undergo two successive hydroxylations in the liver and kidney to become the biologically active 1,25–dihydroxyvitamin D. The two most important forms of vitamin D are vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) and...

International Worker’s Day – Sexual harassment

Historically today marks International Worker’s Day or Labor Day in some countries. It is a day to pay homage to the plight of workers all around the world, and give recognition to the various forms of discrimination and disparity in treatment of workers. With time there has been recognition of the need to protect the...

What’s wrong with being a renegade

THE only time my father slapped me was when I was five for being a smart-mouth. My friends and I were having dinner and I did not find the food particularly palatable. My father looked at the leftover food on my plate and asked, “do you know that millions of children go hungry in India...

COVID-19 second wave in Fiji – Lives and livelihood

COVID-19 virus has hit Fiji again through local transmission. The outbreak resulted from breaches in the border quarantine facility. Within seven days from identifying the first case, Fiji had a total of 24 locally transmitted cases. The second wave appears to be more aggressive with cases spreading in new and densely populated areas on Viti...

Gaming the system – Artificial Intelligence (AI) Hackers

THE formal definition of a hack is something that a system allows, but that is unintended and unanticipated by the systems designers. Note the details – hacking is not cheating per se. It’s following the rules, but subverting their intent. It’s seeking an unintended result, an exploitation – basically it’s “gaming the system”. Hacks are...

T-cells response – Genetics can influence how our immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2

Right now, white blood cells known as T-cells are cruising through your body looking for any signs of an infection. New research has shown your genetics influence how well these immune system cells respond to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). But can your genetic make-up also influence how your T-cells react to the COVID-19...

COVID-19 under siege – On the brink of economic disaster

The country is under siege. Fiji is on the brink of a disaster that may devastate the entire country. This wave of the virus is much more dangerous than the first one. The solution is not in the hands of anyone else but our own. If there was ever a time that we should rise...

30th April

Mauritius a high-income country – Fiji is less than halfway there

By STEPHEN HOWES, SHERMAN SURANDIRAN Both Mauritius and Fiji are remotely located islands situated far from global business centres, both developed as sugar plantation economies, but their economies have taken drastically different paths over the past half a century. Last year the World Bank reclassified Mauritius as a high-income country. Its 2019 income (GNI per...

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