Here’s another transcript from our Fiji Nutrition Coordinator, talking on a podcast about IVI Volunteers health check work over in Fiji. If you haven’t seen the previous blog posts, be sure to check those out, to find out more on the important work we are doing in Fiji.
We have many public health & nutrition projects worldwide, perfect for aspiring medical & heath students wishing to gain some first hand practical experience– and for those who are already experienced- we need you! Listen to the podcast clip or read on for more information on our womens commune project.
About our Fiji health check work with HART housing development
“Like I was saying earlier, we do balance out the corporate work we do with visits to communities that have a greater need for healthcare.
I spoke about ‘HART’ before, which is ‘housing and relief trust’. We go in there and we help families, there’s lots of women and children in there. We also go into a place called Koroipita, which is a housing project. It’s got hundreds of people in there, it’s got over 100 houses, I think over 130 or 150 houses or something.
We go into these places now, at HART we do outreach and we actually go from house to house and knock on doors and go in to peoples homes. We do their blood pressure and health check there. We also do, at Koroipita, we sit in a community hall and they come to us, so that was really cool.
On this trip I’ve had all kinds of health professional with me. We’ll take all kinds of health professionals, so we’re not just naturopaths and nutritionists, we also take dietitians, nurses, GP’s, this time we had a couple of occupational therapists, so it’s a really good bunch of varying skills.
This time that we were in Koroipita, we identified some area of need that we weren’t expecting to see but that we’re hoping to sort out next time we’re there. One of those areas was that we saw so much tooth decay, oh my goodness! We’re still investigating now and working out, asking a few questions with the right people, to find whether it’s just a really high sugar intake or whether the kids are not brushing their teeth.
If they’re not brushing their teeth, we’re going to take toothbrushes next time we go. We’ll take over a couple of hundred toothbrushes and see if we can get our hands on some toothpaste. We’ll do a toothbrushing workshop, we’ll sit all the kids down and we’ll show them how to brush.
I’ve honestly not seen anything like it. Some of the children looked like they were in pain, there were kids with toothaches, etc. We saw teeth that were literally brown, rotting, breaking off, kids with little brown stumps instead of teeth, because the decay was that serious.
So sometimes we go into a place, thinking we’re going to do diabetes education and we come out with a whole new plan!” – Jules Galloway (IVI Fiji Nutrition Coordinator).
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We also have health/ medical projects in Costa Rica, Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, India, Cambodia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana & Nepal! Check out our country pages for more info!