The Pacific Islands Health Research Symposium (PIHRS) received a significant financial boost following the signing of a sponsorship agreement between the Fiji National University (FNU) and BSP Life on August 23. The PIHRS, which is organised by FNU’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (CMNHS), is a crucial platform for medical professionals to discuss and strengthen collaboration on research as well as look at ways of improving health care and health service delivery. It also provides an opportunity for Pacific health researchers and students to share their research findings. FNU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nigel Healey, acknowledged the support from BSP Life for this important event. “This is an encouraging gesture from BSP Life and today’s signing of this sponsorship agreement reaffirms the significance such research activities have on national and regional needs,” commented Professor Healey at the signing ceremony. “We are motivated by BSP Life’s agreement to partner with us for this important annual research Symposium.” As per the sponsorship agreement, BSP Life is committing $4,500 cash to assist in the successful delivery of the PIHRS.
Since its inception in 2011, the PIHRS has grown into the most significant health research Symposium held in Fiji. The Symposium is one of its kind research events at FNU, hosted by the University’s prestigious College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. This year, a record number of 170 registrations for participation and 60 abstracts for presentations have been received by the College. “The presenters at the Symposium are not only established and influential academic and professional researchers from Fiji, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, but also our own CMNHS staff and students.” “The PIHRS encourages open-mindedness in discussions, debates about research, allowing people to ask difficult questions and contribute to the design of solutions to better the health and medical services in the region,” the Vice-Chancellor highlighted. Meanwhile, BSP Life General Manager Distribution & Marketing, Curtis Mar, said: “Our sponsorship aligns to our values of Leadership and Vanua and Community, where we seek to inspire, value and help communities in which we operate”. According to Mar, BSP Life was delighted to support this event because the theme of the Symposium was ‘Directing Research towards Pacific Islands National Health Priorities’. “This supports the World Health Organisation’s call to make Health for all as a major milestone in the field of public health for the 20th century.” “Our statistics reveal that a greater number of our customers in the 40 to 54 year, age bracket, are succumbing to illness and we are hopeful that our support for Symposiums like this can help in the fight to improve health and well-being in Fiji and the Pacific,” Fiji’s leading insurance provider added. The PIHRS will be held from August 29-30 at the Pearl Resort in Pacific Harbour.