Free Medical Camp
Dawasamu District School in Tailevu
On July 7, 2018, the volunteers for Health on Wheels, Sai Prema Foundation, Fiji went to the rural area of Tailevu to conduct a free medical and dental camp for the locals. The medical camp was held at Dawasamu District School. There are eleven villages surrounding this school. This area is approximately two hours away from urban centres. The nearest, Korovou Health Centre is at least one hour away. Therefore, this was one of the ideal places to have the camp as it is quite difficult for the local people to travel far to access healthcare.
The Health on Wheels team had already visited this area last year in June. And as such, this camp was a follow up visit. This time around, 135 patients were seen by the Health On Wheels team. The medical team included nurses, general practitioners, dentists, pharmacists, dieticians, staff nurses from the Pacific Eye Institute, medical students from Fiji School of Medicine and University of Fiji and Sai Prema Foundation volunteers who devoted their time towards this selfless activity.
The volunteer group had arrived at the medical camp site by 9:30 AM and quickly set up the classroom for different medical faculties. The patient registration began at 10 AM. All patients were screened at the triage station. They had their height, weight, temperature, blood pressure and sugar levels checked. From there, they were referred to various medical professionals. Some patients saw the general practitioners for their acute or chronic health problems. There was also a consulting physician available on that day who saw more complex cases.
Some patients with diabetes, hypertension and obesity were referred to the dieticians for counseling on special diets and health advice. There was a dietician who spoke the native Fijian language so he was able to conduct group workshops with the villagers to help them understand better.
Around half of the patients were seen by the dental team who did some extractions, oral examination and demonstrated correct brushing techniques to the villagers, especially the kids. Colgate packs, courtesy of Colgate-Palmolive, were provided to most of the villagers.
A team from Pacific Eye Institute were present at the medical camp. They provided eye examinations and also prescribed reading glasses for those who needed them. The reading glasses were donated by one of the Health on Wheels volunteer.
The pharmacy dispensed free medicines to the villagers and gave them advice on how to take them.
Apart from the medical aspect, there were a couple of volunteers who led human values workshop for the local villagers, and also put on a magic show for the children which was one of the highlights of the day, judging from the big smile on the children’s faces!
All the volunteers were provided with refreshments and meals throughout the camp by the ladies who manned the kitchen area. At the end of the medical camp, all the volunteers were awarded certificates of appreciation for their hard work and commitment to the camp on that day. Also, a first aid kit was gifted to the head teacher of Dawasamu District School for providing their premises to the Health on Wheels team to conduct their medical camp. All the volunteers were packed up and ready to go back home by Four PM after a very rewarding and satisfying day of selfless service!