According to a study in 2013, almost 1 in 3 Fijian’s is now diabetic and now has the highest death rate from diabetes in the whole world. Obesity is a serious issue for island communities due to a lack of public health education in the face of cheap imported high carbohydrate and fatty foods. There is also a huge increase in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as a result of poor diet, in particular diabetes and heart disease.
Obesity and diabetes are placing a huge social, economical and emotional load on Fijian society. Currently, 1 in 3 Fijians are found to have elevated blood sugar, and this is primarily attributed by the excessive consumption of simple carbohydrates like white rice, refined flour and cassava (a local root crop with very high Glycemic Index).
IVI’s nutrition and dietetics programs cater to recent graduates, qualified professionals, or those studying with nutrition, dietetics, healthcare, or natural health backgrounds seeking valuable work experience in Fiji. Whether young, middle aged or retired, people of all experiences are welcomed :)
Working alongside a qualified practitioner, the aim of the outreach project is health promotion & free assessments in villages, corporate businesses, schools & community centres to increase the knowledge about nutrition and the effect of physical activity in the prevention of obesity and development of NCD’s.
In addition to various communes and villages, we work with several resorts in/around Nadi, Denerau & the Manamanuca Islands. In teams of 4 to 8, you will perform health checks adding to the data captured from previous intakes and provide encouragement to reach health goals. You may also be involved in preparing educational talks on various topics such as the dangers of sugar and other disease causing issues.
Data entry is also part of the work and if you have a laptop, we encouage you to bring it along, which will help us gather as much data from our health checks.
Take part in an outreach program designed to empower Fijians to make informed decisions about their heath. You may have the opportunity to conduct health screenings like blood pressure checks, blood glucose level tests and waist to hip ratios measurement.
With support and assistance from the program coordinators, you will be assigned specific health cases and may be involved with but not limited to:
– Conducting individual and group consultations
– Remote island healthcare education
– Corporate health
– Children’s health & education
– Identifying protein deficiency among school kids
– Assisting in the prescription of natural protocols
– Providing educational assistance and local talks (if desired)
– Helping build nutrition and diabetes awareness campaigns
– Designing fitness and exercise programs
– Village exercise programs
– General healthy living programs
- Data entry
This is a varied program in which volunteers should be willing to ‘go with the flow’ as things operate at a slower pace in Fiji than what many are used to in their home countries.
Nadi is the main tourist hub with lots of back-packers places and night life. It’s also well known for for Denerau Marina where many large 5 star resorts are and western style shopping. Denerau is the gateway to the Fiji islands, which is the most popular choice for most holiday goers’ to Fiji. We’ll likely take you here and show you around as part of the orientation or if you’re heading out to the remote island teaching placement.
Lautoka, located 20 min north of Nadi, is a lovely and safe working class harbour city with many areas to explore (eg. hiking trails, mud pools etc). You will be spending time in the working class areas where the genuine needs exist.
- Conduct health checks, alongside local professionals
- Educate the local community on diabetes, general healthy nutrition choices and exercise
- Create nutrition campaigns and exercise programs
- Work in health care clinics, alongside local professionals or on our outreach program within communities