Helping Fiji islanders in need for over seven years, the USA-based Fiji Dental & Medical Foundation(FDMF) has just completed yet another successful clinic on Malolo Island.
Ahura Resorts, February 2019 – Every year, a team of doctors and dentists from the FDMF fly down to Fiji from the USA to set up a clinic at Solevu village on Malolo Island and provide free medical and dental care to the villagers, in addition to Ahura Resorts island staff at Likuliku Lagoon and Malolo Island resorts. Headed up by Greg Herd DDS, Mark Brown, Greg Moegling DDS and their amazing team, this year they saw a total of 975 patients over 4 days and completed: 169 fillings, 534 extractions, and 158 sets of dentures fitted.
The FDMF’s mission is to promote Dental and Medical health to the people of the Mamanuca Island chain of Fiji through prevention, education and restoration. They provide mobile dental and medical services with associated equipment and medicine to deliver what is otherwise unavailable basic care to the Mamanuca islanders. Dental services provided are: Examinations, Oral Hygiene Education, Oral Cancer Screening, Infection Control, Extractions, Restorations, and Nutrition. Medical services range from: Physical Examinations, Diabetic Screening, Blood-Pressure Screening to Infection Control and again Nutrition.
In the late 1970’s processed sugar was introduced to the nation of Fiji, and unfortunately, very little effort was made to treat and prevent the negative effects of this change in the Fijian diet.
Few current records exist providing information regarding the need for dentistry on the Mamanuca Island chain of Fiji. Overall, according to the Ministry of Health 88% of the Fijian children experience decay in their primary teeth and 79% show signs in their permanent teeth.
In 2006 the World Health Organization provided a report showing high dental decay prevalence in urban school children due to infrequent brushing, snacking on high sugar foods and only visiting the dentist when in pain.
Due to the central administration of Fiji’s medical delivery system, peripheral care is almost non-existent. The results have been poor logistic support, inadequate pharmaceutical supplies, and shortage of man power. According to Dr. Neil Sharma, of the Fiji School of Medicine, limited financial resources and lack of health plans are contributing to deteriorating primary health care delivery.
It is the goal of the FDMF to provide an ongoing baseline study of the need for dentistry and medical help specifically to the Mamanuca Islands of Fiji. This will be followed by implementing a preventative care program providing education for nutrition and dental hygiene – with an initial focus on infection control and pain management. The next phase will be to repair and restore both oral and medical health.
The Foundation is working in conjunction with the Fiji Minister of Health under the “Wellness for Fiji” program and also have the privilege of working with Roger Lutz, as their NGO sponsor.
Ahura Resorts Group General Manager, Steve Anstey says, “We are greatly honoured to continue to support this FDMF initiative. We salute the FDMF team and thank them for this ongoing extraordinary kindness and generosity to not only our own staff but to the villagers of Malolo Island”.