Health on Wheels, Divine Mother and Child Program, Heart Beat and Be a Hero Projects by Sai Prema Foundation
Last Saturday October 13, 2018, approximately 45 Sai Prema Foundation volunteers went to Ucunivanua District School, Verata District in Rural Tailevu, Fiji Islands, for a free medical camp and service as part of their Health on Wheels and Divine Mother and Child programmes. This also included Heart beat, which is the Foundation’s free child heart screening initiative, which was conducted.
More than 130 patients of all ages were given full medical check-ups by the team, starting from patient registration, Triage and child heart screening, community wellness workshops, women’s wellness screening, dental check-ups, dietitian advice, general practitioner check-ups, and finally, free medicine from the pharmacy.
On the day, once a patient was registered, they were taken to the triage team for weight, height, blood pressure and blood sugar testing.
Community wellness workshops were conducted by Uncle Indra Deo (former Director of Food And Nutrition) and Dietitian from Diabetes Fiji, Mr. Viliame Qio, along with two dental student volunteers from Toowoomba, Australia, who lovingly taught children how to properly brush their teeth.
Women’s Wellness screening included cervical cancer screening, chlamydia and gonococcal disease testing and counseling about women’s issues. We were also privileged to have three volunteer medical personnel from USA as part of the team.
Dental check-ups included a comprehensive screening, fluoride treatment for all children, cleaning and extractions. One dentist, one dental assistant and two dental students from Australia were part of the team on the day.
General practitioner check-ups included comprehensive checking, counselling, prescriptions and referrals where necessary for further specialist consultations. Through our many medical camps we have noticed the fact that patients are much more at ease and willing to discuss their medical concerns when treated in a familiar local environment instead of in a hospital setting. Also due to the rural setting and difficulty of getting to the nearest hospital, patients often wait too long for treatment until their untreated conditions become serious, and sometimes lives are lost due to patients not going to the hospital on time. Therefore, if a patient is not able to go to the hospital, then the hospital will come to the patient! Health on Wheels is a key endeavour to bring primary healthcare services to the poor and rural underprivileged people.
Finally, patients were dispensed free medication at our dispensary, where prescriptions were filled and patients were given counselling in their native itaukei language on how to safely and effectively use their medications. In total, more than 100 items were dispensed on the day.
Concurrently, in a separate location, Nausori town municipal market, a free blood collection drive was conducted as part of the Foundation’s be a Hero – Save three Lives Project. In the end, more than 40 volunteers put their hand up to donate, and 28 were cleared to safely give blood on the day. Each pint can save up to three lives, hence every person’s donation is critical. Free juice and biscuits were also provided to rejuvenate patients that who donated blood on the day.
An air-conditioned mini bus from the Fiji National Blood Service was provided along with trained nurses equipped to draw, collect and store blood. Patients were first registered and tested to determine their suitability to donate blood. Once deemed fit, then blood was drawn whilst the patient sat in air conditioned comfort in cushioned seats inside the bus. After blood donation, patients were given refreshments to renew their blood sugar and energy levels before being safely discharged.
Let us all continue to support and expand the Sai Prema Foundation’s key projects in a spirit of loving all, serving all, and saving lives!