Nutrition, Dietetics and Diabetes Health Program Fiji
Home Stay Placement | Specialist Nutrition, Diabetes care, Public Health, exercise science, bio medical, dietetics, nutritional consulting, community development and education
2 Weeks +
Nadi, Lautoka and surrounding villages
According to a study in 2013, almost 1 in 3 Fijian’s is now diabetic and within the next 5 years this is projected to increase to 50%. Obesity is a serious issue for island communities due to a lack of public health education in the face of cheap imported high carbohydrate and fatty foods There is also a huge increase in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as a result of poor diet, in particular diabetes and heart disease.
IVI’s nutrition programs generally cater to recent graduates with nutrition, dietetics or natural health backgrounds seeking valuable work experience in Fiji. Depending on the time of year and participant numbers, you’ll participate in structured outreach programs and/or work within busy health clinics shadowing qualified health professionals and/or conducting free assessments as well as general help and assistance where needed.
Obesity and diabetes are placing a huge social, economical and emotional load on Fijian society. Currently, 1 in 3 Fijians are found to have elevated blood sugar, and this is primarily attributed by the excessive consumption of simple carbohydrates like white rice, refined flour and cassava (a local root crop with very high Glycemic Index).
Holistic Health Clinic Volunteering
For students, qualified practitioners or soon to be graduates, enjoy the experience of a busy health center which provides health care services to all, regardless of income and nationality. Here you will see first hand the many health challenges faced by developing countries. You’ll work alongside qualified practitioners assisting in natural modalities related to your specialization. With up to 70 patients per day for a small team of highly qualified staff, this is a busy placement where you can get your hands dirty if you have the desire and skills. Project tasks included but not limited to;
- General Outpatient services
- Free Nutrition Consultations and blood screening analysis
- NCD Clinic care
- Preventative health education services
- Maternal Child Health clinics
- Family Planning services
- Specialist services such as Obstetrics & Gynaecology
- Outreach specialist services & community health promotion activity
- Complex medical conditions
- ‘Health Promotion for Wellness’ activities in the community by our staff and Community Health Workers.
- Rural Women’s awareness, education and empowerment in Reproductive Health
- Research, training and education
Nutrition & Exercise Community Outreach
The aim of the outreach project is health promotion in schools and at companies to increase the knowledge about nutrition and the effect of physical activity in the daily life in order to prevent the risk of developing NCD’s.
Take part in a structure outreach program designed to empower Fijians to make informed decisions about their lives. Volunteers will help run fitness campaigns within local schools and fitness centres. Depending on experience you may have the opportunity to conduct health screenings like Blood Pressure Checks, Blood Glucose Level, Cholesterol Levels, measure Body Fat Using an analyzer, calculate Waist to Hip Ratios.
As a volunteer on the Nutrition care project you’ll work in rural communities in Fiji who do not have easy access to healthcare. With support and assistance from the program coordinators, you will be assigned specific health cases and will be involved with but not limited to:
– Conducting one on one nutrition consultations
– Health symposiums
– Corporate health
– Children’s health & education
– Identifying protein deficiency among school kids
– Assisting in the prescription of natural protocols
– Providing educational assistance and local talks (if desired
– Helping build nutrition and diabetes awareness campaigns
– Designing fitness and exercise programs
– Family health empowerment (house to house visits)
– Village exercise programs
– Healthy living advertising, marketing and administrative assistance
– Natural detoxification programs
– General healthy living programs.
This is a varied program in which volunteers should be willing to ‘go with the flow’ as things operate at a slower pace in Fiji than what many are used to in their home countries.
Volunteers may also take part in presentations on exercise and living an active lifestyle, with topics such as healthy eating, sexual health and physical activity for school children.
Who Can Participate
Ideally, Qualified Nutritionists, Naturopaths, Dietitians or students studying in the discipline of health science or related fields. You will be working along side qualified health practitioners and representing government affiliated networks. Volunteers without qualifications in this field are still encouraged to apply and depending on your desire and experience, you may be accepted into the program.
Enjoy living like a Fiji local. You’ll have your own single or twin share room within private, clean and safe western style homes (see pictures below). You will have a place to store your personal belongings, a private bathroom and toilet (where possible – not all placements include this), a fan and single mattress (if sharing a room). Many home stays include a self contained flat separate from the main residence so you can have your own space. Internet is usually not included with most volunteers purchasing a temporary 3G plan for their own device.
Enjoy integrating into a local Fijian way of life. You’ll have the support and care of living with a real Fijian family. We have a dedicated team on the ground and a network of host families and ground operators in various parts of the country.
Meals are included and served at the host family for breakfast and dinner with lunch on site. A typical day may consist of (subject to variation):
- Breakfast – cereal, bread, butter etc, tea, coffee, milo. Volunteers can make their own eggs should they wish.
- Lunch – Volunteers to prepare their own sandwich. Tuna, cold meat, salad, eggs. Some prefer to take left over dinner from the night before for lunch.
- Dinner – Cooked meal (eg. stews, soups, curries, fish, roast vegetables, taro, sweet potato, bread, rice etc.
It is the responsibility of all participants to obtain any necessary visas. Please note that the Fijian government has recently introduced a volunteer visa which has a cost of $190FJD (approx $100 USD) and carries with it some restrictions (eg. additional paperwork/approval to extend beyond 14 days). This is obtained upon arrival. A standard tourist visa applies for 30 days and is free of charge. It is your choice to advise immigration accordingly.