The centre, which will employ a doctor, pharmacist and community nurse, is an initiative of the Fijian Ministry of Health and has strong support from Fiji National University and the University of Sydney.
“The new centre will deliver high level primary healthcare to the local community and I am delighted that the University of Sydney will be part of its ongoing work,” said Kirsty Foster, Head of the University of Sydney’s Office for Global Health.
The centre’s $160,000 refurbishment is part of wider vision to strengthen and support primary health services in Vatukarasa aiming to reduce deaths and illness among mothers, babies and young children in the surrounding regional community.
The stakeholders’ long term vision is to develop a demonstration joint teaching facility between the Fiji National University and the University of Sydney.
This will strengthen and support primary health services in Vatukarasa, assist in developing interventions to reduce the incidence of non-communicable diseases, and provide an opportunity for medical students to experience primary care in a village setting.
Dr Adrian Sheen, Lecturer in General Practice at University of Sydney says: “To be able to work in such a village will be a unique opportunity and experience for both doctors and students. It is gratifying to have not only support of the community but also the local resorts. Everyone is keen to make this the best possible health facility”.
Later this year, University of Sydney medical students will be able to undertake elective placements at the centre and experience maternal and child health programs first hand.
The University of Sydney’s medical and health faculties will continue capacity building linkages with Fiji in 2015, including research and education projects in the quality use of medicines in children, simulation technologies in education, pregnancy planning, and maternal and fetal outcomes, and dental research.
Doctors and medical students interested in learning more about clinical and placement opportunities at the Vatukarasa Health Centre, should contact Dr Adrian Sheen on: +61 402 753 764 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Media enquiries: Dan Gaffney, +61 481 004 782, email@example.com