The dynamics of the clinical COVID-19 response in Kadavu is one every Fijian can learn from as the Ministry of Health and Medical Services continues to fight the pandemic in the country.

Ministry of Health and Medical Services Chief Surgeon and FEMAT clinical lead in Kadavu, Dr Josese Turagava, said they had noted a contrast in dealing with COVID-19 patients in the urban areas and those identified on the island.

“Physiological fitness of those in the village is very different from someone in Suva. We have men and women over 70-years-old who are still going out to the mountains to bring root crops and fish at sea,” Dr Turagava said.

“We are dealing with a very healthy population, one with less NCDs, so when they contract the virus the dynamics of having to look after them is a lot easier; it’s a lot better here because of the healthy lifestyle that they have,” he said.

“The type of food that they consume here, healthy immune systems are really being evident in how cases have been easily managed.

“So, what we are trying to say is having to live a healthy lifestyle, eating healthy, building a strong and healthy immune system is something we must all acquire to have.”

Dr Turagava said while COVID-infected patients have surpassed 200 in Kadavu, only three patients have required hospitalisation at the Vunisea Hospital and all were in stable condition.

“All other patients were home isolating in the villages,” he said.

“For us we are not worried about the 200 number because we are hoping to contain this.

“The increase in number is expected because the screening that had happened before we came was just selective screening. When we came in we were sweeping right through every village. To me the numbers were already there and we were just finding out what was not found in the first place.”

He said the team was not disheartened with the numbers, but have rather chosen to take it head on.

The team is hoping that recovery in the island will be quick with the physiological and cardiovascular fitness of villagers.

“Villagers are eating healthy and sleeping early so their recovery are much faster.

“Our job for those who have come in from Suva is to help the clinical people quarantine, have a flow and system in place, train them and handover the system so that by the time we leave Kadavu the system will continue to run and keep Kadavu safe.”

Roko Tui Kadavu Kitione Raibevu said villagers, through their Turaga ni Koro and district representatives, have always been urged to take ownership of their health and wellbeing.

The provincial administration is confident the virus would be contained through all the efforts and resources put through by the Government and all villagers.

Source: Fiji Sun

Edited by Jonathan Bryce