Vatukarasa Health Centre was built in 2003 with funds provided by the United State Pacific Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Programme. Its vision to be a primary health care centre did not eventuate and the building gradually came into disrepair.
In 2015, the refurbished building was opened by Prime Minister, Rear Admiral (Rtd) Voreqe Bainimarama.
Situated on the Coral Coast about 20 minutes drive past Sigatoka on the Queens Road towards Suva (at the 106 km road marker), Vatukarasa is home to about 300 people. Together with the surrounding villages, both on the Coral Coast and inland, the health centre serves a population of about 2000. As well it also is an ideal location for the many tourists who visit this region and need treatment.
Vatukarasa is a highly traditional Fijian village with both the Christian and Muslim population living in harmony.
The Australian involvement with the Vatukarasa Health Centre was begun by Dr Adrian Sheen who together with his wife Suzy represented the University of Sydney at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Fiji National University. Having had many volunteer medical trips to Fiji, Dr Sheen realised that the main ingredient of success in engaging with a community is continuity.
It is for this reason that Adrian and Suzy Sheen hope to not only continue to visit Vatukarasa regularly but also encourage other doctors and medical students to experience the unique environment of working in a Fijian village. There are many needs in the village but it is hoped to support the Vatukarasa Health Centre both with personnel and finance.
If you would like to make a donation to the work of the Vatukarasa Health Centre or learn more about working or supporting healthcare there, please contact Dr Adrian Sheen.
Contact details e: firstname.lastname@example.org or m: 0402 753 764