Funds sought for new Medical Bus and other Projects
Auckland, January 3, 2020
Ramakrishna Mission based in Nadi, Fiji, is seeking public funds to finance its free medical bus facility as well as meet the ever-increasing needs of its Sarada Medical Centre (SMC).
Established in 2012, SMC provides medical services including medicines free of cost to the poor people of Fiji.
Ramakrishna Mission President Swami Tadananda said that the Centre is working hard to improve the health of Fijians who cannot otherwise afford medical facilities and services.
Donations can be made through the Mission’s website at www.rkmfiji.org
Rise of Non-Communicable Diseases
“The focus of SMC is preventative primary healthcare to address the crisis of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) which are responsible for 80% of deaths in Fiji.
A Ministry of Health notification described NCDs as a ‘rising crisis,’ and that this has become the biggest killer in recent years.
“NCDs cause thousands of deaths every year, many of them premature, thereby affecting the lives of many more people. About 80% of deaths in Fiji are caused by NCDs and the number of incidents is growing,” the notification said.
The Ministry has identified the following as NCDs: (a) Cardiovascular Diseases including heart attacks and strokes (b) Cancers of various types (c) Respiratory Diseases such as those of the lungs, Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and (d) Diabetes
“Among the risk factors that make Fijians vulnerable to NCDs are tobacco use (smoking), physical inactivity (lack of exercise), unhealthy diet (high in salt, sugar, fat and processed foods) and alcohol overconsumption. These risks can be controlled or ‘modified’ through healthy living,” the Ministry notification said.
Swami Tadananda said that the Mission signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Health Ministry in November 2017 as a part of its efforts to address the growing problem.
“The MOA enables the Mission to ensure that our services are aligned with national health priorities and support the efforts of the Health Ministry,” he said.
Sarada Medical Centre facilities
He said that there were four areas in which SMC interacts with the Nadi Hospital run by the Ministry. They are (1) A General Outpatient Department Clinic at SMC (2) Free medical dispensary at the Centre (3) Special Outpatient Department Clinic at SMC where patients are being booked (3) Health Outreach & Patient Education (HOPE) and (4) General Outpatient Services.
“We commenced free services on March 1, 2018 with a doctor and a registered nurse provided by Nadi Hospital. The Mission looks after management, administration and operations of SMC. The Centre provides all outpatient services including consultations, Injections, dressings, suture, ear syringing and others free of charge,” Swami Tadananda said.
The Centre has been treating between 60 and 110 patients every day, with the total number of outpatients placed at 6988 as at the end of 2018.
Other Services at SMC
Among the other activities of SMC include Digital Stress Treadmill, Digital Mammogram, ManageMyHealth Telehealth (Pilot phase in progress), Emergency Disaster Relief Services, Outreach Screening in Community, Telehealth Services linking patients to doctors at Shriners Hospital in Hawai, ManageMyHealth (MMH), a telehealth service provided by the Auckland based Medtech Global Limited.
“MMH is a secure personal online health portal which empowers individuals to take a more active role in managing their health. Provided at Special Outpatients Services, this targets NCDs by identifying modifiable risk factors, as a part of preventative programme,” Swami Tadananda said.
While SMC has completed its pilot project of ‘One Village-Two Businesses Project,’ the plan is to train, equip and connect community health workers, enhance and improve the Health Outreach and Patient Education Programme.
Fully-equipped Mobile Clinic
“We are seeking the assistance of Rotary Clubs in New Zealand to help us to own a fully-equipped Mobile Clinic. This will help to bring health services closer to the poor people of Fiji. We also need doctors, nurses and other medical personnel. Nadi Hospital is keen on this Project and has assured us of some staff,” Swami Tadananda said.
About Ramakrishna Mission Fiji
Ramakrishna Mission in Fiji is a registered charitable trust, serving the country for the past about 90 years (established in the 1990s). It works closely with the Fijian government and builds sustainability through partnerships with ministries and other NGOs.
The Mission run Vivekananda College which completed 70 years in 2019, Vivekananda Technical Centre, which works to improve farming and the livelihood of farmers in Fiji, Sarada Medical Centre and the Ramakrishna Ashram.
About Ramakrishna Movement
Ramakrishna Mission forms the core of Ramakrishna Movement a not-for-profit spiritual organisation, founded by Swami Vivekananda, the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa in West Bengal (Belur, near Howrah) on May 1, 1897. It aims at the harmony of religions, harmony of the East and the West, spiritual fulfilment, all-round development of human faculties, social equality and peace for all humanity, without any distinctions of creed, caste, race or nationality.
Ramakrishna Movement has 176 branch centres all over India and in many parts of the world.
It follows the motto set of Swami Vivekananda: “For one’s own salvation and for the welfare of the world.”