The focus of Dr. Waqanivalu’s work is providing technical leadership, guidance and support to member states on population-based prevention of NCD in the areas of diet (salt reduction, obesity prevention, marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children, fiscal policies) and physical activity.
Prior to joining HQ Dr. Waqanivalu was Coordinator Noncommunicable Disease (NCD) and Health Promotion of the WHO Division of Pacific Technical Support (DPS) of the Western Pacific region located in Suva, Fiji. From 1994, after graduation from medical school, he worked in the Ministry of Health of the Fiji Islands and progressed through the ranks of Public Health and last held the post of National Advisor NCD before moving to WHO in December 2005 as the Technical Officer Nutrition and Physical Activity. Dr. Waqanivalu progressed through work in WHO to the position of Coordinator NCD and Health Promotion, the position he last held, overseeing and coordinating WHO support and providing direct technical advice in areas of NCD (including mental health) and Health Promotion and general public health to the 22 Pacific Island Countries and areas. He has also held part-time lecturer positions at the Fiji School of Medicine.