Endoscopic Tower to boost Fiji health plan

An Endoscopic Tower will shortly make its way to Lautoka Hospital in Fiji to help medical practitioners provide faster and better quality healthcare to the needy people of the South Pacific nation.

Gillies Avenue Hospital in Auckland donated the Tower to the Friends of Fiji Health Foundation (FFHF) Chairman Dr Sunil Pillay in the presence of his colleagues on the Trust and nurses at a brief ceremony held at the Hospital premises on May 27.

Hospital Manger Trisha Dunn said recent purchase of new endoscopic equipment for Gillies Hospital had prompted the search for a new home for the existing Unit.

“Oncologist Dr Lisa Meyer (who was on the first mission of the Foundation to Fiji last year) briefed us about the good work being done by the Foundation and that Fiji was in dire need of an endoscopic machine. We are happy that the equipment will continue to be used well,” she told Indian Newslink.

Dr Pillay, an expert obstetrician and gynaecologist with extensive experience in performing endoscopy, said doctors at the Lautoka Hospital had requested for a ‘machine in good working condition.’

New Opportunities

“The Endoscopic Unit donated by Gillies Hospital is fully serviced and comprises some spare equipment as well. This will open fresh opportunities for performing minimum invasive surgery at Lautoka Hospital.

“Our next task is to ship the Unit to Fiji, have it assembled at the Hospital and provide training programmes for surgeons and staff nurses there. We would also train them in the proper maintenance of the Unit,” he said.

Endoscopy equipment are expensive, each costing up to $140,000. This donation would help FFHF to foster its objective of bringing quality care with appropriate medical equipment to the poor and needy in the impoverished nation.

Dr Pillay said minimal access surgery would allow day stay surgery, quicker recovery, earlier to work and family, less pain, less scar and less occupation of hospital beds.

“Initially, the type of surgery would be diagnostic and simple sterilisation. Depending on the need, we could perform more invasive surgery later,” he said.

Funds needed

While such equipment will be of immense use in Fiji, they form just a part of the mission of the FFHF, which aims to send teams of general practitioners, surgeons, specialists, nurses, anaesthetists and physiotherapists to Fiji. The first mission, undertaken last year, was successful and the Foundation is mobilising financial resources for the next mission.

All medical practitioners and Foundation Trustees render their services free but money is required to finance their travel costs and accommodation (and pay some nursing staff).

The second mission will comprise a team of surgeons, general physicians and others including Gynaecologists, Anaesthetists, Anaesthetic Technicians, Theatre, Recovery, Pre-Clinic and Ward Nurses and a Physiotherapist.

According to Trustee Bob Naidu, who will provide support services as the Project Manager, the cost of travel, accommodation, food and other items for the mission would be about $80,000.

“We would also need about $70,000 for purchase of specialist drugs, consumable and other expenses. We are seeking the support and assistance of large medical suppliers to provide us the necessary medicines free of cost or at subsidised rates. Our mission is to save lives, give Fijians in poor health a better chance to live and foster their standard of health,” he said.

Money is trickling with a number of charity dinners and sporting events conducted by the Foundation but large donations from a handful of rich and successful businesses would enable the Foundation to undertake its next mission early.

For details about the Foundation, mission statement, aims and objectives, activities and donations, visit www.fofh.co.nz.

Friends of Fiji Health Foundation

Board of Trustees

Dr Sunil Pillay (Chairman)

Deepak Tahal (Chief Executive)

Daven Naidu (Secretary)

Rajesh Chaudhary (Treasurer)

Radhe Nand (Legal Advisor)

Mukesh Parshottam (External Auditor)

Dr Ajay Kumar

Bob Naidu

Dr Dhana Gounder

Dr Rajen Prasad

Dr Rajendra Kumar

Dr Ravindra Raj

Dr Rishi Ram

Dr Vinod Singh


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