Sample Rotation Report (Fiji)

FHCC Rotation Report

Location: Lau Group, FIJI
Dates: July 5th - July 20th, 2014
FHCC Vessels/Captains: 'Dragonfly' Al & Jill Wigginton; ‘Rebelle’, Amanda and Xavier Xeitoun
Report by: Richard Hackett


The Sea Mercy FHCC vessels ‘Rebelle’ and 'Dragonfly' carried a multi-disciplinary team (21) of medical, dental, eye care, and supporting volunteers to 7 remote islands in the Northern Lau group of Fiji. The goal was to scout, introduce and evaluate the needs of these remote islands in order to determine the exact needs to deliver during future rotations. The team members were:

Fiji Staff: Eliki Nanovu (Health Ministry) and Deepesh Prasad (dental therapist).

Sea Mercy Volunteers: Dr. Sarah Levison (dentist), Teri-Jo Rogge (dental hygienist), Lloyd McKinney (PA), Dr. Kirsten Iversen & Lars Iversen (Karmoie), Lori Naylor (RN), Khen Russell (RN), Cheryl Striplin (Pharm), Kimberley Kauzlarich (Pharm), Karyn Scott (volunteer), Tim Ewell (volunteer), Rick Rogge (volunteer), Dave Carroll (writer/director), Marco De Gruja (volunteer).

Remote Islands visited: Taveuni, Matagi, Vanua Balavu, Cikobia, Tuvuca, Cicia, Mago, Naitoba, and a 3 person atoll.

Patients seen:
Triage: 391
Dental: 203
Eye: 253
Doctor: 253

The Experience

When you take 21 health care professionals from three different specialties (dental, vision, and medical) and put them all together on two vessels for 14 days, you would think it would be a recipe for disaster. We are happy to report that it was an amazing rotation and the entire group worked and played nice the entire time. It really was a wonderful experience that allowed us to explore and treat not only the medical, but the dental and vision needs of these neglected remote islanders and prepare and plan for future programs.

Following the initial rotation, Dr. Neatrour (ophthalmologist) and his family who have done extensive international medical missions work, also spent 2 weeks in the Lau Group diagnosing and providing care (and glasses) to over 500 remote islanders. With the information gathered by Dr. Neatrour and the initial team, Sea Mercy will be scheduling surgical teams to deliver corrective and restorative surgeries to those islanders whose vision cannot be corrected with eyeglasses alone.

Corrective and preventative dental care is vital to the health and future of every child and adult on the thousands of remote islands across the South Pacific. Sadly, not only is the dental care services limited, it is primarily emergency extractions. Sea Mercy is committed to bringing the necessary talent and equipment to these remote islanders to help save their healthy teeth, and to offer corrective services for their damaged teeth. It was an incredible experience and we hope you can join us on a future rotation.

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