Fiji Mission president Pastor Nasoni Lutunaliwa (right) and Deputy Prime Minister Biman Prasad (centre) at the National Diabetes Awareness Week launch.

South Pacific

Adventist Initiatives Support Fiji’s Fight Against Diabetes, Enhance Healthcare Access

Partnership between the church and civil leadership is established to address troubling medical trends

Fiji | John Tausere, Juliana Muniz

Seventh-day Adventists teamed up with Fiji government efforts to bring attention to an escalating health issue during the country’s National Diabetes Awareness Week.

“In Fiji, diabetes alone causes one-fourth of deaths, which is very significant and is about 1,500 per year—the highest rate in the world. This is very alarming!” exclaimed Biman Prasad, deputy prime minister, during the launch event, held at the Adventist-owned Deuba Campground on October 30, 2023.

The event marked the opening of a series of weeklong educational activities and health services leading up to World Diabetes Day on November 14. The events were organized by Diabetes Fiji Inc. in partnership with Hope Clinic, the Ministry of Health Medical Services Fiji, and international partners such as ADRA Australia.

In conjunction with the awareness week, a team from Granite Hilltop Adventist Church in Sacramento, California, provided free medical services at the Deuba Campground, performing several minor surgeries and offering dental and eye care to the local community. The medical mission, which ran through November 3, drew hundreds of Fijians seeking health care.

During the health-focused week, the Fiji Mission, represented by Pastor Nasoni Lutunaliwa, president, and Dr. Akuila Tabuavou, Hope Clinic director, announced plans for a new clinic in Nakavika, Namosi. Funded by the American church, the proposed clinic will include four consultation rooms, a delivery room for surgeries, and three beds for patients needing overnight stays.

The mission concluded with a Sabbath celebration, recognizing the efforts of the medical missionary team and their commitment to returning to Fiji to ensure the clinic’s completion. Communities across Fiji have expressed gratitude for the services provided, which have eased healthcare costs.

The original version of this story was posted on the Adventist Record website.