Friends of Fiji Heart Foundation’s 11th mission was held at Lautoka Hospital, Fiji Islands.
The mission was held from 31st August to 12th September, 2016. A team of over 70 medical personal travelled to Fiji from various hospitals in New Zealand to provide free cardiac surgery to the under served citizens of Fiji.

The Foundation was set with the objective of providing free cardio-surgical and related treatment currently unavailable to the underprivileged people of Fiji. Since 2006, Fiji has benefitted tremendously through annual visits by the medical team from New Zealand facilitated by Friends of Fiji Heart Foundation (FOFHF).

Mission Dates

31st August to 12th September 2016

Where

This year main surgical team was based at Lautoka Hospital Theatres. Pre mission screening was done by the visiting Cardiologist from New Zealand at Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) and Lautoka Hospital. Pacemaker clinics and implants were held at both Lautoka hospital and at Cath Lab at CWMH. Angio team was based at Cath Lab at CWMH.

Our Achievements

The 11th mission was held at Lautoka Hospital. In line with the established practice, couple of weeks before the mission, a team of Cardiologist visited Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva and Lautoka Hospital for pre assessment. A total of 135 patients were reviewed in clinics between the two centres. Of the 135 patient screened 22 met the criteria of the surgical team to be operated on for surgical valve replacement.

The Pacemaker Team also attended to a total of 203 patients of which 14 patients had Pacemaker implants or device replacements and 189 patients were seen in follow up clinics.

Angiography team did 37 Angiograms, of which 18 patients were treated with stents, 6 of which were multivessel Angioplasty. The whole range of unselected complex procedures were able to be done.

Friends of Fiji Heart Foundation also conducted various training sessions in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Crisis Management- working in teams in crisis, and Airway management which 227 participants(Medical, nursing and Dentistry) attended. Some of the Dentistry staff travelled from Nadi, Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki to participate in this training programme.

Summary of Procedures done

  • During our mission over 375 patients benefitted.
  • 135 patients were seen in pre-assessment clinics (for adult open heart surgery) in Suva and Lautoka.
  • Additional 203 patients were seen by the pacemaker team.
  • All Cardiac Patients were carefully dentally assessed and treated in the Dental Unit at Lautoka Hospital prior to the surgery by New Zealand  based Dentist travelling with the team.
  • The team also had a New Zealand based Physiotherapist who worked with the local team providing relevant procedural support to post-operative patients and at the same time training the local physio staff.
  • 227 participants attended training session conducted by New Zealand accredited Acute Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) instructor.

Mission Outcomes

  • All patients were successfully discharged post-surgery.
  • There was no significant untoward events noted during adult surgery, pacemaker insertion and Angiography.
  • Upskilling of local doctors and ward nurses in care and management of post cardiac patients through attachments with the visiting team

Logistics

This year 2 containers of medical supplies was shipped to Fiji. Total weight for the 2 FCL’s sent from Auckland to Fiji  – approximately 15 tons/ 51m3.

The pharmaceuticals and other supplies which were sent  later by air were sent as a check-in luggage.

Import volume from Fiji to Auckland packed in 1 container for return of equipment/medical supplies was 6.9 tons (25m3).

Training of Local Doctors and Nurses

The medical team worked closely with local Team at CWMH and Lautoka Hospital.It was pleasing to note that Dr Raj and Dr Bali were attached full time with the team together with local theatre, ICU and ward nurses and their contribution was greatly valued. Great support was also given by Dental in-charge Dr Pravina Singh for our patients requiring dental clearance.

Acknowledgement

Heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the following individuals and organisations for once again supporting Mission 2016.

  • Dr Parma Nand (Mission Chief, Founder & Trustee of the organisation)
  • Dr Nick Odom (Cardiovascular surgeon)
  • Dr Seif El-Jack (Angiography) and Dr Dean Boddington (Pacemaker)
  • Ministry of Health, Fiji Islands
  • Edwards Lifesciences
  • Medtronic’s
  • Johnson & Johnson – Australia and New Zealand
  • Boston Scientific
  • All the medical companies and their reps for continued support and sponsorships
  • Staff and Administrations of CWMH & Lautoka Hospital for their dedication and hard work
  • Friends of Fiji Heart Foundation – Fiji Chapter trustees, Executive members
  • All medical team members of the mission 2016
  • Our Sponsors for their generous support.

 

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