Nutrition & Public Health Program Fiji

Travel with purpose and help combat malnutrition and public health issues in Fiji. If you have an interest or background in Nutrition, Dietetics and community health including physiotherapy and nursing we are running set intakes throughout 2017 and 2018. Applications open now. Apply today

Nutrition & Public Health Program Fiji

Program Fees

Whats Included

  • In-country practitioner supervisor / coordinator
  • Arrival & departure airport transfers
  • Accommodation – Home Stays (sharing with other volunteers)
  • 3 Meals per day
  • Use of necessary equipment and project materials
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Certificate of Completion

Whats Not Included

  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Airfares & visa fees
  • Additional tours, souvenirs, spending money
  • Some daily local transport (depending on program eg. $2 p/day)

 

Apply Now!

Background Information

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.

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).

IVI’s nutrition and dietetics 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. 

Outreach Program – Nutrition & Public Health 

Intake start dates: October, January, June, July, August

Working alongside a qualified practitioner, the aim of the outreach project is health promotion & free assessments in schools, villages and corporate centers 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 an outreach program designed to empower Fijians to make informed decisions about their heath.   You may have the opportunity to conduct health screenings like blood pressure checks, blood glucose level tests and waist to hip ratios measurement.

As a volunteer on the public health & nutrition care project you’ll work in various communities around Nadi and Lautoka as well as remote island communities which lack access to basic healthcare.  With support and assistance from the program coordinators, you will be assigned specific health cases and may be involved with but not limited to:

– Conducting individual and group consultations
– Remote island healthcare education

– 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
– Village exercise 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 in the Outreach Program

Students studying in the discipline of health science, physiotherapy & related fields and qualified therapists, nutritionists, naturopaths, dietitians.   A qualified practitioner will be available to support and guide you during the program.  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.

Health Clinic Volunteering

Placement start dates: Weekly all year round (Sat/Sun arrivals)

For qualified dietitians, nurses, public health graduates and allied health professionals 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

Accommodation

Fiji volunteer home stay

Typical Volunteer Home Stay

Enjoy living like a Fiji local. You’ll have your own single or twin share room staying with another volunteer within private, clean and safe western style homes. 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 or double/queen if sharing with your partner. Some home stays have self contained flats separate from the main residence. You can choose this option if desired. 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

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.

Visa Requirements

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.

 

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