The Biggest ‘Health On Wheels’ Medical Camp Ever
Free Medical Outreach by Sai Prema Foundation (Fiji) in partnership with Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services
Venue: Naivicula District School, Rural Tailevu, Fiji Islands.
On Saturday, March 9, 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 Naivicula District School in rural Tailevu, Fiji Islands.
This school was located at least 10 kilometres inland from the main Kings Road. The nearest hospital, Korovou Hospital was almost one hour away from this school, so accessibility to healthcare facilities was a challenge for the villagers living in Naivicula.
This was the second medical outreach that involved ‘One Fiji’ volunteers with around 25 volunteers for the 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.
As soon as the ‘Health on Wheels’ team arrived at the school, they set up all the classrooms for various departments. Around 20 volunteers who were a part of ‘One Fiji” volunteer programme were there as well to help with the set-up and then assisted the health professionals with various responsibilities.
Volunteer Group Photo
Human values talk by Uncle Indra Deo
‘Health on Wheels’ Medical Outreach venue – Naivicula District School, Tailevu
Prostate Cancer Presentation by members of the Suva Golden Oldies Rugby Club
A new record of 209 patients was seen on this day!
There were a lot of different health specialties on this day, including a paediatrician (child heart screening specialist), general practitioners, nurses, physiotherapist, dentists, pharmacists, obstetrician, optometrists, lab technicians, advocates and so on.
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’ programme offers these heart surgeries for the children absolutely free of cost. The aim is to detect as many cases as possible for lifesaving intervention. Out of the 77 children screened, two children were diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease and two were borderline cases for the same.
Dr. Kunaal writing a prescription for one of the patients
Dr. Liaquat with a patient
Senior Physician Dr Gyaneshwar Rao with medical student Vrunda Rathod and patients
A member of the Pacific Eye Institude conducting a visual test
Fiji Cancer Society staff provided counselling and created awareness of cancer and other illnesses.
Prostate cancer screening was also done for men over 50 years of age 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, comprehensive screening for sexually transmitted diseases and advice on family planning by the Oxfam Women’s Wellness team from CWM Hospital. A visiting volunteer specialist, gynecologist and midwife from USA were also part of the team on this day.
A dental team offered oral examinations, fillings, extractions and advice on oral hygiene.
Members of Oxfam Women’s Wellness team from CWM along with a patient
Patients at the medical outreach in front of project posters
One of the children at the ‘Health on Wheels’ free medical outreach
Dr. Maryanne conducting an ECHO heart scan on one of the children
The Eye team from Pacific Eye Institute conducted eye check-ups and dispensed reading glasses.
The pharmacy team dispensed medicines free of charge to the villagers.
The Sai Annapoorna team provided morning tea and lunch to all the volunteers and health professionals. Lunch was also given to the villagers of Naivicula. A child from Sai Prema Foundation Fiji also gave apples that were lovingly donated by one of the senior physicians to all the kids who came for their heart screening during the camp.
Whilst the medical camp was going on, a few of the elderly members of Sai Prema Foundation, Fiji interacted with the villagers and gave them advice on good hygiene practice, human values and such.
Pharmacy volunteer counseling one of the patients in their native itaukei (Fijian) language
Active Volunteers Joeli Biu and Asesela Tagicaki of the One Fiji volunteer team!
Namrata Tappoo (Health on Wheels coordinator) with a 2016 ‘Gift of Life’ former congenital heart disease patient Mary Tinnai and her father
‘Gift of Life’ recipient Mary Tinnai (middle) with Foundation Trustees Kamlesh Tappoo (left) and Rajendra Kumar (right)
One of the members performed magic tricks for the children and kept them well entertained as well as taught them human values along with the fun and magic!
During the outreach, one of the ‘Gift of Life’ free heart surgeries recipient, Mary Tinnai along with her father visited the ‘Health on Wheels’ outreach. She was operated on by the visiting International ‘Gift of Life’ heart surgery team back in 2016 for congenital heart disease (CHD). Everyone was so happy to see her, and also glad to know that she was now leading a very happy and normal healthy life!
The medical camp concluded around 4pm. All volunteers were given certificates of gratitude at the end of camp. A gratitude certificate and a first aid kit was given to the school manager for graciously allowing the ‘Health on Wheels’ team to use their premises for the medical camp.
Overall, it was a very busy and rewarding camp. All the health professionals and volunteers were very happy and satisfied to provide quality service to the people of Naivicula and its surrounding villages!
Mother and child at the ‘Health on Wheels’ free medical outreach
Dentist Dr. Sagar Sinh conducting a dental examination
Trustees and Health on wheels coordinator donating a first aid kit and certificate of gratitude to the school manager on the day
Members of the foundation with the school manager
Volunteers of the ‘Health on Wheels’ team