APPEAL – LET US SPONSOR A DOCTOR AT SARADA MEDICAL CENTRE IN FIJI
The Serve Fiji Foundation (SFF), a registered NGO in Sydney has been very actively supporting the charitable services of Ramakrishna Mission (RKM) Fiji. The Mission serves all in the spirit of “worship of the Divine in man” irrespective of their race, gender, faith etc. The support of SFF has enabled the Mission to bring solace to more poor and vulnerable people through education, medical and relief services. We have received a request from RKM to sponsor a doctor at their charitable Sarada Medical Centre.
Background to Sarada Medical Centre, Nadi, Fiji
Following the devastating 2009 floods in Nadi, Ramakrishna Mission started an outreach medical service to the poor and needy. Over a period of two years, through 33 camps, a team of volunteers served more than 3,000 patients with free consultation and medicines. The health situation in Fiji is alarming. Only 16% of people live beyond 50 years and 8% cross the age of 60. The prevalence of NCDs is very high and is the cause of about 80% of deaths.
In response to poverty levels rising beyond 50% (based on UNDP reports), the charitable Sarada Medical Centre (SMC) was started in Nadi, Fiji in mid-2012. The SMC is a day-care health centre located in the Nadi town. It has two doctors, two nurses and support staff, who are currently funded by AusAID. An average of 150 patients is seen weekly. Only a token $5 administrative fee is charged. The very poor are waived the fees and given free medicines. The services are open to all irrespective of ethnicity, faith, gender etc. So far, more than 8,000 patients have availed the services at SMC.
There is a severe shortage of medical specialists in Fiji. Most patients do not have access to specialist consultancy. In response to this challenge, SMC is currently implementing an innovative solution to this challenge through tele-medicine. This will enable SMC patients to access specialist medical consultation from abroad. With the assistance from AusAID, a well-equipped telemedicine unit has been setup at SMC. Suitable for both online and store-forward methods of tele-consultancy, some of the equipment at SMC are Hi-Care Device for video conferencing, Fingertip Pulse Oximeter (with Bluetooth), General Examination camera, Dermatoscope, Ophthalmoscope, Spirometer, Electronic Stethoscope, 12 Lead ECG, HB1Ac tester, INR tester, Thermometer (with Bluetooth) etc. Biochemistry and haematology analysers will soon be added to these.
About the Services of Ramakrishna Mission, Fiji
The Ramakrishna Mission (RKM), Fiji, is a registered charitable Trust (Regn # 896) serving in Fiji since 1930s in the fields of primary, secondary and technical education and community development. RKM has a very high standing within Fiji and recognition in the international aid community (AusAid, NZ Aid, EU Aid) which have funded several aid projects through RKM. RKM Fiji was awarded the 2014 Parvasi Bharatiya Samman Award by the Government of India in recognition of their seven decades of service in Fiji. Currently RKM runs the following educational, medical and community development institutions/ services:
- Swami Vivekananda College, Nadi (Established 1949).
- Vivekananda Technical Centre. Nadi (Established 1981)
- Universal Meditation Centre, Nadi
- Sarada Medical Centre (SMC), Nadi.
- Ramakrishna Relief and Community Development Services (Relief services, farmer extension services, Food Security and Poverty alleviation programmes).