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Death in Paradise

Death in Paradise

For most New Zealanders Fiji is a tropical paradise, but the recent deaths of four babies from a bacterial outbreak at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva show a side of Fiji that the average tourist doesn’t see.

In April, Sir Ray Avery, CEO of Medicine Mondiale visited Fiji to determine which hospitals were in most need of lifesaving Medicine Mondiale LifePod Infant Incubators.

“Sadly, every Regional and Provincial Hospital I visited had rooms and corridors of broken down incubators; many, just months old. Even those Incubators which were still functioning were being used without humidification due to a shortage of distilled water that is required to run these machines, said Sir Ray.”

The problem is acute. Hospitals have resorted to sharing incubators or transferring infants from one hospital to another sometimes 80 km away. Many do not make it.

We think of Fiji as a Pacific Island holiday paradise, but preventable neonatal deaths are five times higher than in New Zealand.

Sir Ray Avery has made a commitment to the Fiji Ministry of Health to donate fifty Lifepod Infant Incubators to hospitals throughout Fiji, commencing in February 2018.

“Because of the latest preventable neonatal deaths, we want to bring our production schedule forward and get incubators into hospitals in Fiji as soon as we can, but to do this we need to raise $150,000,” said Sir Ray.

“There are some truly inspirational neonatal doctors and nurses in Fiji who work under extremely demanding third world conditions, and we want to give them the best tools to treat their patients. When we visit Fiji, the Fijian people open their hearts to us and welcome us with a ubiquitous ‘Bula.’ The best ‘Bula’ we can give them, is to provide every Fijian baby with a fighting chance at life,” said Sir Ray.”

“I recall about five years ago, my wife Anna and I taking our first daughter Amelia to a resort in Fiji, and when the kitchen staff found out that it was her birthday, they baked her a cake, I remember fondly the laughing and smiling Amelia being handed around and cuddled by all the kitchen staff, and reflected at the time how much the Fijians love children.

I hope that with the help of New Zealanders, I can return the favour by helping to nurture smiling, happy and healthy newborn Fijian babies,” said Sir Ray.

Keep Little Hearts Beating:


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