Fiji, the most populace of the South Pacific island countries, is home to 884,887 people, according to the 2017 census. One-third of Fiji’s 332 islands are inhabited, with the majority living on Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Improving healthcare means Fijians are living longer, with life expectancy at 67 for males and 73 for females, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Health challenges

The major health challenges facing Fiji, according to the Ministry of Health’s 2020 – 2025 Strategic Plan, and the WHO, include:

  • diabetes, heart disease, stroke and respiratory diseases, which have replaced infections and parasitic diseases as the principle causes of mortality and morbidity.
  • STIs, especially HIV and AIDS, which represent a national challenge. As of February 2017, 747 cases of HIV had been diagnosed in Fiji.
  • the threat of emerging and re-emerging communicable and non-communicable disease in the world and the region, which is becoming more serious.
  • dengue fever, which remains a threat.
  • the emergence of bugs and bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobial medicines.

18 cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Fiji, all of whom have recovered. Fiji reached zero active cases on 5 June 2020.

Burnet’s work

Our work revolves around providing technical assistance or is project-based.

Resources for improving national responses to HIV and STIs: The resources aim to build country leadership of more effective responses to the HIV and STI epidemics. They describe how to bring together government leaders, community leaders and health experts to develop more effective prevention, treatment and care strategies. They were prepared by Burnet Institute, based on lessons learned over four years of supporting leadership in Pacific Island Countries, from 2009 to 2012.

HIV laboratory strengthening: Burnet’s Clinical Research Laboratory (CRL) headed by Professor Suzanne Crowe AM, has 17 years of experience providing a service for laboratory monitoring of HIV infection in Australia and providing assistance and training to strengthen laboratories in resource constrained countries particularly in the Asia Pacific region.

As the WHO Regional HIV Drug Resistance Laboratory for the Asia Pacific Region they have expertise in providing training in laboratory set-up, laboratory safety, management, quality systems, staff mentoring and transferring the technology for performing tests to monitor HIV infection.

Contact Details

For more information about our work in Fiji, please contact:

Burnet Institute

[email protected]




Current Projects

  • Antenatal and postnatal care remote contacts guidance

  • Australia Awards Fellowship: KICK-AMR to Address Antimicrobial Resistance

  • COMBAT AMR: Mitigating the threat of Antimicrobial Resistance in Pacific Island Countries

  • Engaging private sector for adolescent health service delivery in Asia and Pacific

  • Gender Counts

  • Midwifery Faculty Development Program

  • Novel PoC Testing for Diagnosis of Active Syphilis in Pregnant Women and Infants in Fiji

  • Rapid review of maternal health recommendations related to the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Sexual and reproductive health in Asia and the Pacific

  • Transformative Agenda for Women, Adolescents and Youth in the Pacific: Family Life Education

  • Transformative Agenda for Women, Adolescents and Youth in the Pacific: Strengthening Midwifery Education