mailife - - Opinion -

Bula and wel­come to the beau­ti­ful month of March dear reader. Char­i­ta­ble and ser­vice or­gan­i­sa­tions are gear­ing up now for the full spate of events, both fundrais­ing and so­cial that will be held from May through to Au­gust – the coolest, weather wise, time of the year to get dressed up and have fun for a good cause. The In­ter­na­tional Women’s As­so­ci­a­tion is no ex­cep­tion and let­ters of in­vi­ta­tion have gone out and tick­ets be­ing sold for The IWA May Ball that will be held on 5 May at the Grand Pa­cific Ho­tel in Suva. For the ben­e­fit of those who may not know about the work of the IWA – yes we are a group of women who get to­gether once a month and have beau­ti­ful cups of cof­fee and de­light­ful morn­ing teas from Fe­bru­ary through to Novem­ber – but that’s not all. Our vi­sion of our As­so­ci­a­tion to “pro­mote and as­sist the phys­i­cal, ed­u­ca­tional and so­cial wel­fare of needy women and chil­dren in Fiji” over­rides all else. Be­ing a non­profit, non-po­lit­i­cal char­i­ta­ble as­so­ci­a­tion we raise funds each year specif­i­cally to meet the ob­jec­tive of our As­so­ci­a­tion. This year the CWM Ma­ter­nity Hos­pi­tal will ben­e­fit once again from our fundrais­ing ef­forts. Our hard­work­ing Pres­i­dent Ms Judy Com­pain re­ports of ‘the de­plorable con­di­tion of the bath­rooms and toi­lets. The show­ers do not have show­er­heads, there are pipes stick­ing out of the wall and most of the bath­rooms and toi­lets are out of or­der or bro­ken. One of the bath­rooms (that has 3 toi­lets and 5 show­ers) has been shut down for a while now due to leaks that have not been iden­ti­fied nor re­paired for many years. The women have no choice but to use these fa­cil­i­ties that have lit­tle to no pri­vacy.’ ‘Ex­pec­tant women (moth­ers, wives, daugh­ters, sis­ters, nieces, grand­daugh­ters, friends and col­leagues) have a right to de­cent, hy­gienic, us­able bath­rooms be­fore and af­ter hav­ing their baby so we have re­solved to make this change and we be­lieve women in your or­ga­ni­za­tion and their fam­i­lies will ben­e­fit from this ini­tia­tive’, re­ported Pres­i­dent Com­pain. Last year, the IWA con­structed and out­fit­ted the two-room IWA High-Risk Clinic that now pro­vides women con­sul­ta­tion and coun­sel­ing in a pri­vate and well-equipped en­vi­ron­ment. Later in Oc­to­ber, the IWA-Can­cer Care Packs were launched, an ini­tia­tive to sup­port and pro­vide use­ful, com­fort­ing items for women un­der­go­ing chemo­ther­apy for breast can­cer. There have been many other ben­e­fits for not only the women and chil­dren of Fiji but our com­mu­ni­ties as a whole and you can find out more by vis­it­ing our Face­book page, In­ter­na­tional Women’s As­so­ci­a­tion (IWA) Fiji and book­ing your tick­ets and find­ing out about our next meet­ing. As men­tioned ear­lier the IWA May Ball is planned for Satur­day 5 May 2018 at the Grand Pa­cific Ho­tel Ball­room, and tick­ets are $300 each or $3,000 for a ta­ble. In­cluded in the ticket price are a pre-din­ner cock­tail, 3-course din­ner, en­ter­tain­ment and danc­ing and in keep­ing with tra­di­tion, this is a for­mal floor length gown and black tie event. Ad­mit it, you love dress­ing up! We thank His Ex­cel­lency John Feakes of the Aus­tralian High Com­mis­sion for gra­ciously host­ing us for our first meet­ing last month, which saw a won­der­ful turnout. We also wel­come His Ex­cel­lency and his fam­ily to our shores for their new post­ing. An­other amaz­ing char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tion that is gear­ing up to start screen­ing and sched­ul­ing pa­tients for their 2018 sur­gi­cal out­reach is the Loloma Foun­da­tion. They have just fin­ished their first mis­sion at Navutu Stars in the Ya­sawas – a jour­ney which be­gan 14 years ago with the own­ers of this beau­ti­ful re­sort clos­ing their doors for 9 days and hand­ing over their vil­las to vol­un­teer teams who run med­i­cal and den­tal clin­ics for the peo­ple of the north­ern Ya­sawa chain of Is­lands. Granted, it’s only 9 days a year. But in the big­ger pic­ture, it al­lows an an­nual den­tal visit, an an­nual PAP smear, med­i­cal visit and pos­si­ble re­fer­ral to our sur­gi­cal teams in Tave­uni in the mid­dle of the year from May to June. This year, over $200k of con­sum­able med­i­cal and den­tal sup­plies were dis­bursed. Loloma Foun­da­tion and its vol­un­teers are so grate­ful for the con­tin­u­ing part­ner­ship forged by the gen­eros­ity of Navutu Stars. Here’s what was ac­com­plished in Jan­uary, 2018: Den­tal: There were 143 restora­tions, 291 ex­trac­tions and hun­dreds of pol­ish­ing and var­nish­ing of teeth. There were 19 full den­tures (built and de­liv­ered in the field) as well as 21 par­tials. Med­i­cal: There were a to­tal 1066 pa­tients seen in 8 clin­ics with 87 women’s ex­ams and 70 PAP smears with 236 x men­stru­a­tion kits dis­trib­uted on the Day For Girls and 30 sur­gi­cal re­fer­rals to Tave­uni. What an ab­so­lute achieve­ment and vinaka vakalevu sara to the Loloma Foun­da­tion. Now if you (or any­one you know) needs help with any of the fol­low­ing con­di­tions the Loloma Foun­da­tion may be able to help. • Cysts/lumps on most ar­eas of the body • Growths on or in face, nose, lip, mouth or tongue • Thy­roid/goi­ters (these MUST be scanned by a lo­cal doc­tor and re­port given) • Joined fin­gers/toes (Syn­dactyly) • Ex­tra fin­gers/toes (Poly­dactyly) • Burns and scars caus­ing bent fin­gers, hands, arms, legs, feet and toes • Cleft Palate and cleft lips • Painful lump in groin or stom­ach that pops out (Her­nia) • Painful leg veins (Vari­cose veins) • Wa­ter on tes­ti­cle (Hy­dro­cele) • Fam­ily plan­ning for men and women (Va­sec­tomy and tubal lig­a­tion) • Heavy fe­male bleed­ing treat­ment (Men­or­rha­gia) • Baby bag re­moval (Hys­terec­tomy) Please note that surgery is per­formed on Tave­uni Is­land at the re­fur­bished Waiyevo Hos­pi­tal and it is es­sen­tial that pa­tients be screened be­fore go­ing to Tave­uni! Please con­tact Terri Shafer at 8068423 to sched­ule a date and time for screen­ing. Pa­tients may need to see a lo­cal doc­tor for com­plete screen­ing be­fore they can be se­lected. Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion will be given af­ter a pa­tient is se­lected for treat­ment. Please be pre­pared to pay for your trans­port to Suva and re­turn to your vil­lage/home. Ferry costs to Tave­uni and re­turn will be dis­cussed with each per­son. Please re­mem­ber though that this is a great op­por­tu­nity to see med­i­cal spe­cial­ists free of charge. That’s it for an­other month – have a great one and big lolo­mas to you all. Pax Vi­tia.

Mrs BER­NADETTE ROUNDS GANILAU is a for­mer ra­dio per­son­al­ity and Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment. Now re­tired, she con­tin­ues with her NGO work and runs her own busi­ness.

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