Health on Wheels and Sai Annapoorna Service 
by Sai Prema Foundation, Fiji

On a beautiful Saturday morning, members representing Health on Wheels and Sai Annapoorna team, both key projects of Sai Prema Foundation, Fiji, arrived at HART Home in Valelevu, part of Nasinu, Fiji, for a mini Medical Camp and lunch food service. HART Home is a rest home for the elderly and the destitute. It is located around half an hour’s drive from the central City of Suva. The Health on Wheels team had previously visited the HART Home late last year, so this was a follow-up visit to see how the elderly residents were faring.

 

The 20-member team of the day consisted of the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Medical Centre Staff and a volunteer Doctor from the Ministry of Health, collectively representing Health on Wheels medical outreach team and volunteers from the Sai Annapoorna food service team along with the Foundation support volunteers. 15 residents and two caregivers were given full medical check-up by the medical team. Their details were first noted onto registration forms by the volunteers and then the nurses did their basic check-up of height, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and so on. After this, they were directed to the doctors for further examination and detailed consultation. Free prescription medicines were dispensed by the Pharmacy team to the patients. Whilst the medical camp was going on, the ladies from the Sai Annapoorna food service team were giving out morning tea and snacks to all the residents and volunteers. After all the check-ups were completed, all the residents and caregivers were given a sumptuous lunch by the Sai Annapoorna team.

Valelevu HART Homes – newly painted and renovated

Volunteer doctor from Ministry of Health and Medical Services Counseling a patient

Generally, it was observed that most of the elderly residents were in good health. Some of them had diabetes, hypertension, indigestion, aches and pains. They were prescribed refill medicines for their chronic conditions. More than the actual check-up, the residents were genuinely touched to have so many people come to visit them and spend some quality time with them. A lot of them had some amazing life stories which was enlightening for the volunteers. Many that had gathered had great heart to heart experiences.

 

Coincidentally, there was another group of volunteers from ANZ bank who used their free time on the weekends to help with maintenance and renovations of the Hart Home facility, starting with the dormitories. These volunteers were very inspired by the work being carried out by the Sai Prema team. They also joined the Health on Wheels volunteers for their morning tea, lunch and debrief session after the medical camp.

Doctor attending to one of the HART Home residents

Morning tea for the elderly, followed by lunch

Towards the end of the medical camp, certificates of gratitude were given to the volunteers, including the staff of HART Home and volunteers from ANZ who had graciously allowed the use of the newly renovated dormitory even though it was not yet officially open. Group photos were also taken to commemorate the visit. When it was time for farewell, the elderly residents of HART Home showed their utmost gratitude to the volunteers and shook hands with everyone. It was so humbling for the volunteers to see that they made a small difference in the lives of these lovely old souls. The team left the rest home full of gratitude and with the promise to return again in a few months’ time.

A heart-warming moment for doctor and patient

Trustee Rajendra Kumar listening to one of the HART Home residents

Members of ANZ volunteers busy cleaning up the HART Home compound

Volunteer visiting pharmacist Raksha Tappoo preparing certificates of gratitude for patients

Trustee Mr. Rajendra Kumar and Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Medical Centre Coordinator Namrata Tappoo presenting a first aid kit to the resident caregiver for the patients

Triage nurse assisting a patient.

Members of ANZ bank volunteers painting the HART dormitory next door

Combined volunteer group photo