Sarah Andela & Liesel Woon

“Our two-week Fiji trip was like no other as we were given the opportunity to gain clinical and cultural experiences in such a beautiful setting.

One of the main aims of the trip was to conduct screenings at major resorts and villages along the coral coast. The resorts employ many local residents, making them ideal locations for general health screening. We were able to screen approximately 350 people across Nadroga province, increasing our understanding of the major health issues these communities face including hypertension, diabetes, and their associated complications. The information collected will be summarised in reports for the resorts and communities screened with the hope that the information can help identify the main health issues to be addressed. Screening also provided us with an opportunity to educate and raise awareness of risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases, with follow-up advice given where necessary. We were also able to test eyesight and provide reading glasses, which were greatly appreciated, especially the fantastic range of colours and patterns to choose from!

It was an incredible privilege to be given the opportunity to immerse ourselves into Fijian village life at Vatukarasa thanks to the warmth of the chief, Ratu Luke and his family. This included listening to the angelic choir during Sunday church service, kava ceremonies, and a lovo dinner. These occasions highlighted the importance of family and community to which we felt very much welcomed into. The screening at Vatukarasa health centre was also a great success, screening 43 residents of the village. The donations received through the charity have provided Vatukarasa and neighbouring village health centres with greatly appreciated medical supplies that are easily taken for granted in Sydney.

Spending time with Dr. Elizabeth and the nurses at the nearby Korolevu health centre, we were able to attend a non-communicable diseases education day, sit in on consultations, and visit villages to conduct home visits.  We saw how Dr. Elizabeth works extremely hard to ensure that the standard of health care for her patients is the best it can be despite their limited resources, including a lack of space at the centre, lack of essential medical  supplies, and having to dispense medications herself!

Our Fiji visit was an invaluable experience for us thanks to Dr. Adrian and Suzy who have established and maintained great relationships with countless people along the Coral Coast for many years, working alongside them to improve health in the communities.”

Sarah Andela & Liesel Woon