DISMAC cannot be activated however we are coordinating activities with Ministry of Health – Seruiratu

DISMAC cannot be activated however we are coordinating activities with Ministry of Health – Seruiratu

By Dhanjay Deo
Friday 09/07/2021
Minister for Disaster Management, Inia Seruiratu

Minister for Disaster Management, Inia Seruiratu says for now, they can only come in and support the Ministry of Health in terms of coordinating some of their activities but they will need experts to find the solution in activating the national disaster machinery in relation to COVID-19.

Seruiratu says the activation of NDMO is based on the Disaster Act 1998 however we are currently operating under the Public Health Act 1965 as we are dealing with a health related crises.

He has clarified this after the Fiji Council of Social Services called for the activation of the Disaster Management Committee (DISMAC) to bring the full surge support currently missing from the Incident Management approach that Ministry of Health has been utilising since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

Executive Director, Vani Catanasiga says this will mean that all agencies and stakeholders including civil society will be able to collectively bring their resources, expertise and experiences from previous humanitarian events and build a whole of society response.

When questioned, Seruiratu says DISMAC cannot be activated as it is under a different act.

Seruiratu says it is unfortunate the current Public Health Act is silent on activating DISMAC and involving of other stakeholders particularly non governmental organisations and civil society organisations under cluster arrangements.


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