Report by Zareena Bli - Federation Friendship Link convenor
During the first phase of the pandemic in 2020, the members of SI Lautoka were able to assist mothers and babies at the Lautoka Hospital. The mothers and babies were stranded at the hospital and were unable to be discharged due to lock down precautions in Lautoka. The club monitored the success of this original project and in 2021 due to the ongoing situtation caused by the 2nd wave of COVID and the Delta strain. SI Lautoka wrote to President Suman seeking a donation from the SISWP Disaster fund.
During the Covid 19 pandemic (2nd phase in Fiji - Delta Variant). There have been 177 deaths due to COVID-19 in Fiji; with 175 of these deaths during the outbreak that started in April 2021. Sadly, two mothers lost their lives after deliveries due to this pandemic.
Lautoka Hospital is located in the Western Division of Fiji, and has the biggest facility to cater for pregnant mothers and while it caters for all deliveries in Lautoka all mothers who go through difficult pregnancies from Rakiraki, Tavua, Ba, Nadi and Sigatoka are referred to Lautoka Hospital for safe deliveries. Due to constant lockdowns during the pandemic mothers often were required to stay longer at the hospital and run out of essentials, as their families are unable to visit and supplement their requirements.
We requested for disaster management funds from SWP to assist mothers and babies with emergency packs. The plan was to make 100 emergency packs for mothers and their newborn babies and which would include; Baby wipes, Baby Powder, Baby Soap, Diapers, Maternity Pads, hand sanitizers and facemasks.
The club members of SI Lautoka purchased and packaged up 100 of these packs for distribution to the hospital.