The experience today opened my eyes to the difficulties that the nurses in Fiji face in their everyday work in the villages. After seeing what I have seen over the last week or two I believe that the nurses are incredibly hard working people and it would be great if we could make their lives easier by providing assistance in whatever way we can. The Solar power system that we put in Raviravi has made life much easier for the nurse there and I would love to see many more nursing stations helped in this way. It also means that children in many of the villages surrounding the medical centre can receive the vaccinations that they need on time. - Shiloh
Fiji Power 2016 Day 10 : 04-10-2016
Hard working nurses
The Fijian Ministry of Health has been so impressed with the work that Bookend Trust has been doing with Australian students in Fiji that they provided transport for our whole team up to the interior Naitasiri province today. Vutaieli Boloqace who is responsible for a number of medical provinces in Fiji took the Fiji Power team to visit the Vunidawa Hospital, the Lomaivuna Nursing Station and the Naqali Medical Centre. Here we discovered many of the challenges and problems of providing medical care to thousands of villages in rugged mountain terrain, particularly since cyclone Winston caused so much damage throughout the region.
One of the nursing stations is so remote that there is no road through the mountains and supplies such as gas for the vaccination fridge needs to be walked in or taken by horse. Bookend Trust is looking at providing this medical centre with a renewable electrical energy supply for the vaccination fridge.
Some of problems faced by the nurses in these medical centres are:
- The medical centres don’t have electricity so they have to run off gas
- This gas only works for 6 weeks and when it has run out the only way to get gas to the centre is on horse and they have to get by 21 river crossings
- In the Naitasiri province there are a total of 5 doctors look after a total of 30,000 people in the province, there are also only ten sites for vaccinations including the hospital.
- In the cyclone the hospital lost a total of $5000 worth of vaccinations, and their monthly amount of vaccinations used is between $5000 and $7000
- During the cyclone they had to use the generator
- Medical centres on the island were more greatly affected by the lack of flow of supplies
- It costs the Ministry of health $150 a month per station on gas
- The average wage in a village is $200 per month
- Some nurses have to sterilise their equipment at home as there is a lack of equipment in some of the stations
- The vaccination fridge doesn’t work at all at the Lomaivuna nursing station
- Vaccinates twenty babies per month and can walk up to two hours after work hours to vaccinate.
- Why are batteries needed in a solar power system?
- 33 cloudy
- Simple maintenance is important.