Sreyon Murthi, Pharmacist and Clinical Change Analyst, treasures the opportunity to give back, a notion that aligns with our values at Te Whatu Ora for Counties Manukau.
Staring her role as a Pharmacist with us in 2009, Sreyon then moved to our Healthy Together Technology (HTT) team in 2021 where she also began her PhD journey in Health Informatics at the University of Auckland.
Sreyon has been travelling to Fiji and working as a volunteer pharmacist since 2013 and is grateful to the Pharmacy and HTT teams for being supportive of her volunteering adventures.
In April this year, she headed back to her homeland of Suva to volunteer at Sai Sanjeevani Children's Heart Hospital.
"Helping people in need is the most rewarding life experience. It puts us in a state of gratitude, contentment and oneness."
Though a regular volunteer in Fiji, this was her first-time volunteering at the 54-bed Sai Sanjeevani Children's Heart Hospital, a non-government organisation that provides specialised cardiac surgeries free of cost to children in Fiji and across the Pacific.
The 54-bed hospital opened in April 2022 and since then has performed 214 heart surgeries.
"Without this hospital, there is nowhere for these sick children to get treated in the Pacific. They are currently fundraising as they have to borrow an Echocardiogram machine from local health providers " Sreyon tells us.
"At present, 200 babies are born with congenital heart disease in Fiji every year, and the number jumps to 2,500 when the whole Pacific region is considered."
During her recent visit, 25 children received cardiac surgeries in eight days, with nine kids from the Solomon Islands, four from Kiribati, and the remainder from Fiji.
"There would definitely be a higher mortality rate without timely treatment, which means young lives lost, families traumatised by grief, and the future of Pacific Islands at risk," she says.