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7 deaths on island

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

VILLAGERS on far-flung Yasawa Island claim seven people have died over the past two years because of the difficulty in accessing proper health services.

And the village of Bukama has formally asked the Prime Minister for a health centre to be built in the village.

Prime Minister Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama, who was at the village last Thursday to open a new school block, was told the Yasawa Island Resort had offered to fund the construction of a health centre.

He said once this was completed, his government would provide the staff and equipment needed to operate the facility

In a talanoa session, village headman Pita Tui said the absence of health services was a major problem for them.

Mr Tui said they could not afford the $30 to $50 boat fare charged for travel to Nacula where the nearest health centre was located.

"It has been a problem for many years," he said.

"I have even made request for a health centre to be set up here to cater not only for Bukama but for neighbouring villages as well.

"Two years ago, we had seven deaths in the village in one year — their ages ranged from 40 to 50.

"Some had serious injuries while a few others had sicknesses such as diabetes, headaches and other sickness that could have been treated, but because there was no medical facility we couldn't do much."

Rear Admiral Bainimarama said assistance would be provided once he had discussed the matter with health officials.

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