On Thursday 31 May 2018, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MOHMS) of Government of the Republic of Fiji and the National Cancer Center of Korea (NCCK) concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the area of cancer cooperation. Representing the Ministry, Dr. Isimeli Tukana, National Adviser on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) of the Republic of Fiji signed the MOU with his counterpart Dr. Eun Sook Lee, President of the Center.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Tukana shared briefly on the progress of cancer research and treatment in Fiji, National Cancer Control Plan (NCCP) and unscored the need for education and training of personnel. He also thanked Dr. Lee for the provision of support that will be given by the Center in strengthening these areas. “We are grateful for the support this MOU provides for enhancing the National Cancer Control Plan in addressing the needs of Fiji and the Pacific as a whole to coordinate and strengthen efforts on oncology,” he remarked.

A breast cancer specialist herself, Dr. Lee expressed her hope to further strengthen cooperation in the education and training of personnel to assist in the early diagnosis of cancer. “Early diagnosis and detection of cancer is important for effective treatment of cancer,” she said.

The MOU serves to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the field of cancer by developing and enhancing collaboration in diagnosis and management to reduce the incidence and mortality through research, education and training and support for the NCCP in Fiji. The parties intend  to cooperate  in  the  areas  of  mutual common interests such  as  training and providing support to healthcare  professionals  and  personnel engaged in the NCCP, strengthening basic and clinical research on cancer, assisting the Fijian government in formulating and implementing the NCCP, and engaging in any other areas of mutual interest relating to cancer that may be jointly decided upon by the parties during the implementation of the MOU – providing a wide margin for cooperation on cancer.

A government funded institution founded on the National Cancer Act of 2000 in Korea, the NCCK is the single largest national cancer center in Korea entirely dedicated to the improvement of national health and welfare by reducing the incidence and mortality of cancer through research, patient care, education and training, and support for the national cancer control programs. The MOU between parties will remain in effect for the next five (5) years.