Our mission is to support the medical and dental systems in the South Pacific. In operation since 2001, we have treated more than 90,000 patients.
As the 2015 mission portion of our year draws to a close, it has been most gratifying to acknowledge what the power of community can do.
1222 people treated and screened for surgical candidacy in rural clinics by our medical team over a period of 6 days. We were able to fund the transport costs of 35 Yasawans who made their way on a trip of a lifetime to Taveuni where a variety of surgeries were performed.
Meanwhile, in our stationary dental operatories at Navutu Stars, 277 dental patients were seen, extracting 246 teeth and filling 267 teeth. 38 restorative veneers were also done. A total of 36 prosthetic appliances were built in the field and delivered to people who had their dignity restored by simply being able to smile.
General medical outreach: 725 patients treated and screened on Taveuni, Qamea and Matangi Islands
19 reconstructive surgeries
16 ENT surgeries
30 OB/GYN surgeries
76 general surgeries over a period of two weeks.
1500 backpacks stuffed with school suppies distributed
Two emergency rooms repainted
Dental operatory repainted
Two bathrooms in the conference room demolished and rebuilt
Conference room renovated with paint and curtains and framed artwork from the Wairiki school
School supplies distributed to the Wairiki Kindi and primary school
Backpacks distributed to 50 underprivileged children at Wairiki School
Soccer balls and pumps distributed to 10 schools
This year, thanks to Bernadette Ganilau, our Fijian charitable trust was able to fund the transport costs of 35 Fijians to travel from other remote places on the western side of Fiji. Moving the Yasawans from their tiny island village to the other side of Fiji was momentous. They boarded a small boat to get to a large ferry, which took them on a 4 hour ride to Nadi where they were hosted overnight by local families.
The following day, a four hour bus ride took them to Suva where they boarded a larger ferry. An 18 hour ride took them to Taveuni where our team met them to take them to the hospital. Many Fijian volunteers enabled this process to happen and we are grateful for their loving support along the way. Many thanks to Dan and his sons and Va who organized things from the Yasawan side.
Back up in Taveuni, the general medical team was guided by local resident and Matangi employee Sireli, who organized all of the clinics and helped with intake and translation.
The staff at the Taveuni Hospital graciously accepted and cared for 173 inpatients over a period of 5 weeks. Often, the three wards were at capacity, full of recovering surgical patients who needed extra care. Our surgical patients tripled the usual inpatient workload.
The laundry was kept busy washing, folding and returning sheets, pillows and multitudes of blue surgical towels back to their place of origin. Tima kept the autoclave room meticulously humming to turn over surgical trays so the daily surgeries could continue on time. Senio, the competant resident nurse, helped manage the pre and post op patients.
During all of our procedures, our surgeons and anesthesiologists worked in concert with Fijian physicians, sharing new techniques. An invaluable Fijian scrub nurse joined each week and worked side by side with one of our nurses.
The able volunteer renovators worked with a team of Fijians in dirty and hot conditions to dismantle and restore the conference room and adjoining bathrooms. Singing, laughter and Hawaiian music sustained everyone!
Back at Aroha Beach front Bures, our home base, the owners, Ngaire and Dennis Irwin and their staff, worked long hard hours to feed our teams over 1500 fabulous meals, wash our scrubs and make sure we had a good night’s sleep.
Conditions were HOT and challenging in the field and arduous at times in the operating theater. A creative example of dedication was the night that Jenny Parker, one of our anesthesiologists, rode a spin bike in the O.R. to stay awake so she could monitor a patient all night.
We are eternally grateful for the presence of our U.S., British and Canadian volunteer teams. Many have been on multiple missions to many different countries in the south pacific with us. They have given much to participate in this journey. At the end of each day, a global community of extraordinarily kind people accomplished a job together. Fijians and Americans hugged each other, shed some tears, high-fived, made new friends.
And that’s what this really is all about.
Looking ahead, we will be forming our teams for 2016 with a continued vision of inclusion. Our Fijian team members will be welcomed to join our effort to again deliver medical, surgical and dental care to rural Fijians. It truly does take a village to deliver meaningful, sustainable health care.
Loloma is proud to be part of the community of global humanity.
Vinaka vakalevu to our 148 global volunteers of 2015,
Project coordinator, Loloma Foundation