SOFITEL Resort and Spa continued its commitment to children in the local community by hosting a fundraising dinner and silent auction for Cure Kids Fiji on Friday that raised about $14,000.
According to the resort, the funds will go to providing a nearby community with an additional echocardiography machine, a device important for the expansion of an echocardiography national screening program.
Cure Kids Fiji was formed with key partner Accor Hotels, as a means of giving back to the people of Fiji.
It is estimated that one in 30 children in Fiji, aged five to 14, live with rheumatic heart disease (RHD).
Severe RHD causes permanent heart valve damage with the need for heart operations and can cause premature death.
Accor Hotels and the local and business community have been helping Cure Kids Fiji in funding the research and development of an innovative nurse-led echocardiography screening program in schools with the aim of early detection of RHD so that children could be diagnosed and treated.
Resort general manager Simon Jinks acknowledged the local business community and key sponsors, saying without their support, the event would not have been a success.
According to the resort, so far 10 nurses have been trained in echocardiography and nearly 10,000 children have been screened across the Fiji Islands with hundreds of previously undetected cases of RHD diagnosed, and the children referred for treatment. The aim of the program was to establish the project as a continuing national screening program.
The next phase of work would focus on upscaling the expertise and resources to help make this possible, as well as refining the mechanisms for providing effective long-term treatment in the country.