Living our values – Helping to change lives in Fiji

Fijian Language Week is the perfect opportunity to celebrate members of our staff who selflessly give their time as volunteers to help make a difference to the people of Fiji.

Friends of Fiji Health (FOFH) and Sathya Sai Organisation (NZ SAI) are charity organisations that send teams of medical specialists to Fiji.

Dr Dinesh Lal, Gastroenterologist, leads the Asia Pacific region’s medical arm of NZ SAI, which provides healthcare and training to an average of 3,500 patients.

Dr Lal says their camps run for around five days bringing together teams of up to 100 health professionals from diverse specialties. 

“In Fiji’s rural areas we set up schools and visit islands to offer health care services to those in need and our services are free. It is a spiritual mission and our motto is ‘Services to man is service to God’ and I feel it is important to help those in need – this is one way I can do that with my skills and expertise" says Dr Lal. 

Dr Ajay Kumar, a Geriatrician Consultant, leads the FOFH which regularly travels to Fiji to work, mainly in hospitals.

fijian staff group

Though lockdown has halted travel, FOFH still found ways to help and prior to lockdown fundraised a whopping $215,000 for food parcels distributed in Fiji.  

Dr Kumar, Dr Lal and Jannette Hennings, Senior Nurse, volunteer across both organisations, often working together to help make a difference to those in need in Fiji.  

They are regularly joined by other CM Health staff such as Kelera Batiwale, Varanisese Serevi (FOFH) and Raijie Naidu, Sreyon Murthi, Ruku Shatroha, Shaku Prasad, Ronika Kumar, and Anandita Devi (NZ SAI). 

Dr Kumar said the work done by CM Health staff was essential and thanked the, nurses, doctors, MDT and non-Fijian volunteers who helped carry out this work.

“We all firmly believe we are so privileged to be able to serve and work alongside our people and in that we all cannot thank Counties enough in supporting and helping us serve our people” 

Our staff who volunteer their own time is a true reflection of our Counties Manukau Health values and it is great to see examples of these in action, both at work and outside of work. 

Thank you all.

fijian staff group1

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