Early diagnosis and proper treatment of ailments can save lives of people but the challenge is to identify problem areas, a prominent community leader has said.
Mick Jaduram, a pharmacist by profession and experience, described the Friends of Fiji Foundation Inc as a ‘Project that will be of tremendous benefit to the poor in Fiji who are sick and who do not have access to much needed surgical procedure.’
“Many people die of what should be relatively manageable problems simply because they are unable to get effective treatment early. The Foundation has placed equal focus on providing quality clinics away from hospitals,” he said, launching the organisation at the Western Springs Community Hall in Auckland on September 10.
He said the Foundation represented the commitment of a number of people from Fiji now resident in Auckland. They are aware of the problems in the country of their birth and believe that they could make available the benefit of their skills and experience to the poor and the needy, he said.
“They have chosen to develop a process, gather the resources and go to Fiji to provide the services to those in need on voluntary basis. This is commendable,” he said.
“When they are in Fiji they will be able to see a large number of patients in a relatively short period of time thus being of real assistance to the medical system.
“They will use their contacts in the medical system to encourage others to volunteer.”
Mr Jaduram said Fiji had given much to its sons and daughters including good life and career, and it was time they gave back as much as they could to help the poor.
He said the plight of a substantial percentage of the people in Fiji was cause for concern.
Doctors, nurses and medical practitioners in New Zealand should not only offer their mite but also help in the establishment of a robust medial system in Fiji.
“To that extent, the work of the Foundation and its people will be relatively for a short time. The medical system in Fiji should be able to meet the needs of citizens on its own in due course,” he said.
A number of speakers at the launch ceremony said the Foundation would front all administrative, travel and other costs and that the resources mobilised through donations and contributions would be used entirely for medical services in Fiji.
It is understood that the medical and other professionals would provide these services on voluntary basis (See related story in this section).
Mr Jaduram said the objectives and focus of the Foundation were commendable and that their hands-on approach and selfless service would help lift the health standards.
“They have been careful not to impose anything on the people of Fiji. They have met with the medical specialists there, reviewed the range of need and audited the facilities The team has carefully developed its objectives and it is almost ready for the first visit.
“The Foundation is also keen to transfer technology and skills to practitioners in Fiji. The first surgical focus will be on gynaecology and obstetrics,” he said.
More than 100 medical practitioners, entrepreneurs and professionals of Indo-Fijian origin resident in New Zealand attended the launch ceremony.
Photo : A Fiji Cultural Group performing at the launch ceremony