Trainee Interns at VSHC

The Medical School at Fiji National University runs a 6 year undergraduate medical program. The final year is the trainee internship program in which the students are prepared for their service role upon graduation. During the year they are rotated through terms in Medicine, Surgery, Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Public Health.
As from mid 2013 students have been attached to VSHC during their Public Health term. This year the attachments are for a period of 3 weeks. During the attachment at VSHC the students are involved in all aspects of community health - general out patient care, maternal and child health, management of high risk NCD patients, women's health and outreach work.
The most exciting component of their attachment is to be involved in strategies to empower individuals and the community to look after their own health by avoiding life style health risk factors. They learn about the health priorities of the Ministries of Health in the Pacific as many of the students come from different Pacific Island Countries. They also learn about the thinking behind the World Health Organisations Alma Ata and Ottawa Declarations. Both these declarations lay the philosophical bases for achieving universal health coverage for the community and educating the community to better look after its health needs.
At Viseisei the students learn by experiencing strategies and interventions in community health education, engaging with the community, being involved with other sectors in community development such as Education, Youth, Itaukei Affairs, and Women's Affairs. So far this year the students have been directly involved in the following activities - the training of community health workers, meetings with community women's groups, meetings with the community leadership and multi sectoral community development partners. The students have also been involved in critiquing educational and health promotion tools.
The students work with a health care team comprising of clinicians, health educators, researchers data managers and administrators. They also learn about leadership in health, how to work with a team, be accountable and be involved.

Attachment of Trainee Interns from Fiji National University & Otago University at VSHC:

                                                           February 2014

The NCD team has been blessed to have three trainee interns (TI’s), two from the Fiji National University and one from Otago University in NZ.  Gina and Sharon from FNC were placed at VSHC for their Public Health Placement. They helped out with the MCH clinics and the NCD clinics working closely with the zone and clinical nurses. Apart from learning the functions of a Primary Health Care setting, Gina and Sharon helped out with the NCD and RH outreach Clinics.

Sharon went out with the team to Lomolomo settlement and talked to the audience on NCD’s. She explained in detail to everyone present about diabetes, its signs and symptoms, how to manage and prevent it from occurring.

Gina attended an outreach session which involved education, healthy cooking and screening people for blood sugar and blood pressure. She helped screen people for blood sugar and blood pressure and also did one on one counseling to all those who were screened and gave a talk on salt reduction in food and the importance of healthy eating and portion control.

The TI’s were a great help to the NCD team on our outreach days as well as with education and counseling with High Risk NCD Patient Clinics.

                                             Gina talking to a NCD patient on a high risk clinic day                

                                                                   Sharon explaining about diabetes   

Ashton Kelly was the Trainee Intern from Otago University in New Zealand. He came to do his public health placement spending 4 weeks with the Viseisei Sai Health Centre. During his stay he was heavily involved with the reproductive health team with education, distribution of flyers and clinical work.
He also worked at VSHC with Dr Amrat Lad and Dr Saras Nandan.

We look forward to working with more TI’s in future.

From left: Staff Nurse Amelia Ake, Jokapeci Tokalau with TI Ashton Kelly