Health on Wheels Medical Camp
Viti Levu, Fiji
On Saturday, March 3, 2018, volunteers from the Sai Prema Foundation, Fiji’s ‘Health on Wheels’ Project, went to Navunisea District School in the interior of Tailevu on the main island of Viti Levu, Fiji to conduct a free medical camp for the poor in remote villages in that area. All the volunteers left the capital city, Suva in the early hours of the morning and after a couple of hours of travel, arrived at the school to set up for the medical camp.
There was a good mix of volunteers, both medical and non-medical, eager to serve the people. Stations were set up to cater for smooth and efficient flow of people as they came to take advantage of the free health services offered with divine love. These included registration, followed by triage, eye and dental care, women’s wellness (cervical screening), general practice services, pharmacy and workshop.
The camp started off at 10 AM after a quick speech by one of the foundation leaders, which included what the foundation is about, the health on wheels project and other projects that the foundation is doing. This was followed by a small speech by the school principal and a small prayer. After this, the camp began registration of patients. After registration, the patients were sent to the triage station for basic screening (blood glucose testing, blood pressure and body mass index, including some basic health and diet related questions) and dietary advice by a dietitian. The patients were then directed to the relevant health station for the appropriate checks that were needed.
There were several volunteer doctors who examined the patients, counseled them and prescribed medicines accordingly. There was also a pathologist present along with medical students who were eager to learn and serve with dedication and care. The other medical facilities included a dental and women’s health team. The dental team provided free examinations and did filling and extractions. The nurses from the women’s wellness group provided counselling to women on their well-being and did some pap smears. Finally, the patients were sent to the pharmacy to collect medications which were prescribed. Whilst waiting for their prescriptions, patients were encouraged to attend a human values workshop.
On the non-medical front, one elderly and learned volunteer conducted human values workshop for the villagers. The ladies from the Annapoorna team lovingly prepared and served morning tea and lunch for all the volunteers.
During the camp, a minivan was sent out to the nearby villages to pick up elderly and/or disabled villagers for health screening. In total, 117 people were served during this medical camp.
It is very heartening to note that around 50 volunteers had attended this medical camp, making it the largest line-up of medical professionals since the Health on Wheels Project had started. Their aim is to continue to take a well-equipped volunteer medical and support team into rural areas where there is a severe lack of basic health care facilities and to encourage the entire community to take advantage of the free services available.