Support for Fiji’s First-Ever Preventative Medicine Clinic Underscores Airline’s Continued Commitment to Fiji’s Communities
Air Pacific, soon to be ‘Fiji Airways’, and Zens Medical Centre in Nadi today announced a new partnership aimed at providing Fiji with the nation’s first-ever ‘wellness clinic’. To be named the ‘Fiji Airways Wellness Clinic’, the new clinic, on a referral basis, intends to offer a range of health and wellness checks designed to achieve the goal of early detection and prevention of Fiji’s most common causes of death, namely: heart disease; diabetes; hypertension; and strokes.
“As Fiji’s national airline, we are committed to improving the lives and well-being of not only our staff, but all Fijians. On behalf of the more than 800 professionals who work at our airline, we are very pleased to be partnering with Zens Medical Centre to address this important issue. The Fiji Airways Wellness Clinic will contribute to a healthier Fiji by making available free wellness and health checks for patients referred by their General Practitioners,” said Dave Pflieger, Air Pacific Managing Director & CEO. “Support for this new clinic is a fitting way to commemorate the rebranding of Fiji’s national airline from Air Pacific to Fiji Airways. In the same way that our airline is soaring to new horizons, by supporting staff wellness programs and early detection, we want to make it possible for all Fijians to soar to new horizons, as well.”
Under the four year agreement with the Medical Centre, Air Pacific (soon to be ‘Fiji Airways’) will provide financial support, and Zens Medical Centre (Nadi) will manage the clinic and provide for specialist medical staff, supplies and expertise to perform health check-ups.
“We are proud to partner with Air Pacific in creating Fiji’s first-ever preventive medicine clinic. Most other clinics in Fiji are focused on providing treatments after a lifestyle disease has been diagnosed. The Fiji Airways Wellness Clinic’s goal, however, is to start a programme of early detection and prevention of these diseases to help patients who are found to be ‘at risk’ with the means to modify their lifestyle through health education, exercise, and diet counselling,” said Dr Zen Low, Director of Zens Medical Centre.
“Diabetes, high-blood pressure, heart and kidney diseases are among the top medical causes of death in Fiji. Currently, we’re seeing young adults in their late 20s suffering heart attacks; as young as 30 suffering from strokes, and four out of 10 adults in our population are diabetics. As a result, our new clinic plans to provide preventative measures to reduce non-communicable diseases like diabetes, and to reduce the progression of organ complications – kidney failure, heart attacks, and stroke – associated with established non-communicable diseases. The clinic also aims to look after patients with early stages of kidney failure, and prepare patients and families with end stage kidney failure for renal transplant and haemodialysis,” Dr Low added.
The Fiji Airways Wellness Clinic will also offer, on referral basis, various medical tests and services for other non-communicable diseases to the public free of charge. These include blood pressure and sugar tests, blood tests, lipid tests, hypertension screening, screening for strokes, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease diagnosis and treatment, including dialysis treatment.
In addition, the airline has also made a one-time donation to help the medical centre pay off one of its dialysis machines.
The new clinic has already screened over 70 patients this year, and it is expected that 960 patients will benefit from the Fiji Airways Wellness Clinic every year.
In furtherance of the clinic’s objectives of Preventative Health Care, all Fiji- based Air Pacific employees will also be offered free medical tests for early detection of these diseases.
“We are proud to be Fiji’s national airline, and it’s only right that our corporate social responsibility efforts are geared towards causes and initiatives which will benefit the wider community. We’re encouraged by the enthusiasm of Dr. Low and his team to provide early detection and prevention of serious diseases in Nadi and Western Viti Levu,” Pflieger concluded.
“This partnership has been in discussion for over a year, and it builds on the others we’ve already put in place in recent years, including Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises & Development (FRIEND) for the education of the underprivileged children of Fiji, the Mamanuca Environment Society (MES) for the preservation of Fiji’s beautiful marine ecosystems.”
Free services at the Fiji Airways Medical Clinic at Zens Medical Centre commenced on the 22nd of April and are located at 40 Lodhia Street, Nadi Town. The clinic will be open Fridays from 5pm – 8pm, and see patients upon referral from other General Practitioners and medical personnel.