All in a month’s work

While Fiji spent April celebrating Ram Navami, observing Lent and Easter, watching the lunar eclipse, and attending the Coco-cola games, the MSP crew were working like crazy on several high-profile outreach events (in addition to our usual services), much to the delight of close to 900 people who accessed our services this month.

AWACEN-ing minds, inspiring change

April kicked off with a workshop to empower youth in rural areas on child protection and gender rights. The workshop was the first in the AWACEN 2 series (All Women and Children Empowered Now) – the second stage of the successful AWACEN project of 2013, funded by the British High Commission.

Speakers at the workshop included Naitasiri chief Ratu Waisake Tuisese and H.E. Mr Roderick Drummond, British High Commissioner of Suva. The two-day workshop was delivered to 35 youth leaders and community members in the district of Soloira, in Natitasiri, and covered topics such as child protection, violence against women and girls, sexual reproductive health and gender rights.

Health Fair @ Wainibokasi

Close on the heels of the workshop, MSP spent a sunny Saturday in Wainibokasi hosting a community Health Fair. Funded by the Australian Government through their Direct Aid Program (DAP), the Health Fair brought together a diverse range of health services, including dental, medical, TB screening and family planning, providing a one-stop-shop for all healthcare needs in the area.

Handy the Blue Octopus, Protex, made a special guest appearance on the day – much to the delight of more than 50 children. In between the singing and dancing, the kids learned about good hygiene practices and received free handouts courtesy of Colgate Palmolive.

Also in attendance was DAP Program Manager Mr Peter Lothian, who took the opportunity to speak with the Tui Naduku, Nakaile Village-Tokatoka, Tailevu, and the MSP team about the health challenges faced by the Wainibokasi community and how the Health Fair was benefiting them.

A big thank you to everyone that contributed their services on the day – in particular the Ministry of Health, the Fiji National University’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, TB screening and our youth volunteers from Rotaract. Together, we helped more than 200 people access free healthcare services!

The breakdown:

  • 130 people visited the doctor
  • MSP’s staff nurse performed 9 Pap smears
  • 74 people had full medical check-ups
  • the dental team helped 35 people through tooth extractions, check-ups or referrals
  • 99 people accessed TB screening services and information
  • More than 50 kids learned about good hygiene through Handy the Blue Octopus
  • And more than 50 kids had their faces painted by volunteers from Rotaract!

A huge vinaka vakalevu to everyone that helped out on the day – we couldn’t have done it without you!

Sigatoka Market Outreach

The team headed to Sigatoka just prior to Easter for a two-day outreach visit to the market. More than 180 people accessed healthcare services and information over the two days, including 130 people who visited with the doctor or nurse. Funded by the Australian Government through the Fiji Community Development Program, and United Nation’s Trust Fund, the market outreach trips deliver free essential health services and information directly to market vendors in recognition of the difficulty this community typically has in accessing these.

…And where would we be without our volunteers?

MSP was lucky to have medical intern Mr James Iliff volunteering with us for the month of April. Hailing all the way from the University of Cambridge, James has assisted our clinical team with all our outreach visits over the month – a wonderful asset to our team!

Here’s James taking the blood pressure of a community member at the Health Fair, Wainibokasi.

MSP's medical intern Mr James Iliff takes the blood pressure of a community member

So that’s all for now, folks. Stay tuned to find out what the MSP team get up to in May!

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