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The Best Health On Wheels Medical Camp Ever!!!

By Sai Prema Foundation In Fiji

On Saturday, February 16, 2019, volunteers, health professionals and members of Sai Prema Foundation, Fiji set out early in the morning for a free ‘Health on Wheels’ medical camp in Namara District School in rural Rewa, Fiji Islands.


This was the first medical outreach that involved ‘One Fiji’ volunteers with around 30 volunteers on this day. ‘One Fiji’ is a project launched by Sai Prema Foundation, Fiji to help the lives of fellow Fijians by offering opportunities for members of the public to volunteer and help make a difference in their communities.

A motivational session for all the new volunteers was provided by the director of the foundation, Mr. Sumeet Tappoo, at the start of the camp. Volunteers were shown the workings of the camp and given a detailed briefing as well as a motivational session about the need for service to help the poor and underprivileged people in their communities. Volunteers assisted with the registration of patients, giving directions and guidance to them, serving food, and much more!


Volunteer Group Photo


There were several different health specialties at the Medical Camp including a paediatrician (child heart screening specialist), general practitioners (GP), nurses, physiotherapists, dietitian, dentists, pharmacists, obstetrician, optometrists, lab technicians, advocates and the like.


The GP team included a senior physician, general practitioners and other medical officers from the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services that conducted free health check-ups for all the villagers.


A Paediatric doctor from CWM hospital, Dr. Maryanne Kora’ai was there to provide ECHO screening to all the children from 0-16 years of age to detect any heart abnormalities. A few cases were confirmed and also referred back to CWM for further tests. A team of International surgeons, doctors and medical professionals representing Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospitals, India will be coming to Fiji in April 2019 for surgeries. Sai Prema Foundation’s ‘Gift of Life’ Program offers these heart surgeries for the children absolutely free of cost. The aim is to detect as many cases as possible for lifesaving intervention.


Villagers queuing up for Triage screening including heart screening for all the children


Dr. Shraddha Shilta & Senior Physician Dr. Gyaneshwar Rao with one of the patients

Fiji Cancer Society staff provided counselling and created awareness of cancer and other illnesses. Prostate cancer screening was also done for men aged over 50 years by Van Med Labs courtesy of Suva Golden Oldies Rugby Club. The club members also provided counselling and advocacy on men’s health issues.


Women were offered breast examinations, pap smears and advice on family planning by the Oxfam Women’s Wellness team from CWM Hospital.


Disability screening and advocacy services were provided on this day by members of the Frank Hilton Organisation.


Van Med Lab staff taking blood samples from an elderly villager for Prostate Cancer Screening

Diabetes Educator listening to one of the patient’s concerns at the camp

A dental team of volunteers from Fiji National University and the Fiji Ministry of Health provided dental check-ups including cleaning of teeth, fillings and extractions where necessary.


Physiotherapists provided advice on joint care and support for some of the elderly as well as to injured players of sports.


The dietician provided dietary advice to encourage some of the villagers to lose weight as part of a healthy diet regime. Obesity and diabetes were some of the key concerns that is currently affecting many Fijians from all walks of life.


Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Medical Centre G.P. Dr. Radishma with one of the villagers. In the background is Dr. Liaquat, another senior general practitioner

Heart Screening Specialist Dr. Maryanne Kora’ai screening one of the children

Nurses from the Pacific Eye Institute provided eye and ophthalmology services including free glasses where necessary.


Free medications were also dispensed as prescribed by the various health professionals by the pharmacy team.


Clothes were also distributed to the villagers along with a sumptuous lunch for all the village children as part of Sai Prema Foundation’s ‘Sai Annapoorna’ Project.


A lively atmosphere at the Triage room at the outreach

Dentist Dr. Sagar Sinh with one of the patients

One of the volunteers enthralled the children with some magic tricks.


Also, one of the elderly volunteers spoke to the villagers about human values and basic hygiene and sanitation.


A team from Fiji National blood services were there for blood collection which is used to save lives after surgeries. Some of the volunteers were brave and kind enough to donate their blood. The blood collection efforts is part of the ‘Be a Hero’ project, which is a joint initiative of Sai Prema Foundation Fiji and the Fiji National Blood Service.


Orthodontist Dr. Vinal Harikisan treating one of the children at the outreach

Oxfam Women’s Wellness Clinic Staff with one of the patients

Interviews, photographs and video clips were recorded by the Director of the Foundation to review and share the feedback received by villagers, health professionals and volunteers.


In total, around 208 villagers were served on this day making it one of the largest medical camps to date! It was truly a very exciting and fulfilling experience for everyone involved. Most of the volunteers who had come for the first time were very inspired and grateful for the opportunity that they received to serve their fellow Fijians. They were all keen to be part of more of these outreaches and other projects of the Foundation.


The villagers were also very happy and grateful for the free health check-ups and support that they received.


SPF Trustee Mrs. Maya Tappoo handing out clothes for distribution for the villagers


Some of the children of Namara village at the ‘Health on Wheels’ camp

To finish off the camp, certificates of gratitude were provided to all health professionals and volunteers to officially thank them for the great service that they provided to the villagers of Namara. The School Principal was also given a certificate of gratitude as well as a first aid kit for the students and staff of the school.


Overall this was one of the largest and most successful medical outreaches that has been held by the foundation to date, making it one of the best ‘Health on Wheels’ Medical camps ever!


Dr. Kora'ai reported that the screening found:

  • 1 confirmed case of Congenital Heart Disease

  • 3 confirmed cases of Rheumatic Heart Disease

  • 8 borderline cases of Rheumatic Disease which will need to be followed up in the next six months.


Medical Coordinator of Sai Prema Foundation Dr. Krupali Tappoo confirmed that the three children identified with Rheumatic Heart Disease will require four weekly benzathine penicillin injections at their nearest nursing station. They were referred for follow-ups at the CWM hospital.


SPF Trustee Mr. Kamlesh Tappoo juggling and entertaining children with magic tricks

Catering team on the day provided free food for all the children, health professionals and volunteers on the day

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