World, Fiji: A team of officials from the Lakeba-based Ministry of Health and Medical Services of Fiji is on board the Government vessel MV Iloilovatu conducting medical audits and dental services for the group of islands in the southern Lau group.
Led by the Area Medical Officer (Lakeba), Dr Reynold Wesele, the medical personnel is making use of the opportunity presented by the 30×30 Marine Protected Area awareness and consultation team that is currently in Lau.
The team visited all Nursing Stations and Health Centres in the 11 islands and conducted general and special outpatient services, reviewing cases that are inpatients, school outreach, dietary counselling, and dental services.
According to Dr Wesele, the response has been very positive ever since the first day at Naroi in Moala. “I’m very grateful to all the island community members who have made good use of our visit, and our interactions have been very positive,” said Dr Wesele.
He added that dental was the most sought-after service since most of the island medical stations only have nurses and doctors, with the nearest dental facility located on Lakeba Island.
“Such trips as this are really good as Government can provide holistic services for our communities. Coming in from different departments and ministries ensures that the hard-to-reach areas in Fiji, mostly in the maritime, especially Lau, also get the services the people in the mainland take for granted,” he mentioned.
Levukaidaku Villager Tevita Tadu said such visits by Government departments are always welcomed and said, “It is way cheaper when services are brought to our doorsteps. For us, in the islands, the boat fare to Suva is something to reckon with, let alone the expenses of living in Suva, the visits to various departments before the return to the island.”
“When these services are brought closer to us, it brings a sense of relief, and it also allows our children to see firsthand our interaction with government officials, which is also a learning experience for them,” said Tadu, adding, “We thank Government for the opportunity, and we look forward to a new beginning with this Government and an improved service delivery mechanism, especially for us in the Eastern Division.”
A Health Inspector was also part of the medical team and conducted school inspections and business license renewal.
The Fiji Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Services also has a technician with the team to assess medical types of equipment and conduct repairs on medical types of equipment being used at the various island-based medical facilities. A staff of the Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji – RFHAF is also part of the team conducting awareness.