Feature

Labasa Health Professionals Respond To The Call Of Duty

At 4am yesterday, Sister Selaima Tuisavuna with 18 other medical personnel serving at the Labasa Hospital travelled to Viti Levu to assist with health operations in the Western and Central Division amid the COVID pandemic.
07 May 2021 20:06
Labasa Health Professionals Respond To The Call Of Duty
Sister Selaima Tuisavuna earlier this year (left) and Sister Selaima Tuisavuna earlier this year (right).

At 4am yesterday, Sister Selaima Tuisavuna with 18 other medical personnel serving at the Labasa Hospital travelled to Viti Levu to assist with health operations in the Western and Central Division amid the COVID pandemic.

Being in the nursing profession for more than 16 years, Sister Tuisavuna knows too well what it is like to respond to the call of duty even at the last minute.

When she was told that she was going to be part of the urgent deployment of medical staff to Viti Levu from Labasa Hospital on Wednesday night, she did not hesitate to say yes.

In the midst of it all, the Nasuva, Seaqaqa, Macuata native said it was always an honour to respond to the call of service even in the most crucial of times.

“It was quite a hard and emotional deployment for us because it was sudden,” Sister Tuisavuna said.

“Yesterday when the plea for help came for us to be deployed and assist our brothers and sisters in lockdown at the Lautoka Hospital, it meant that we were not doing this for ourselves, but for Fiji.

“We thought of the medical professionals who have been working hard in isolation centres and it dawned on us that the Health Ministry needed us, Fiji needed us.”

Family reaction

The mother of one child said it did not always go down well with her family, but making them understand the profession she was in and the call to serve was something she would always emphasise in her household.

She said it is what she took an oath for.

Sister Tuisavuna has been part of a military deployment to Syria for a year and said she knew what it was to always be prepared in her profession.

“When I informed my husband about it, I told him that I was prepared even though it was on such short notice. My husband is back in Labasa, half an hour after I told him about the news of my deployment then it started to sink in for him,” she said.

“He then told me to go and pack my bags while he said he was going to prepare my lunch.”

She said the voyage to Suva yesterday morning was an emotional one for the medical personnel.

“It was all excitement when we departed Labasa Hospital in our transport to the jetty, but when we got into the boat it started to sink in that we were leaving behind our families and loved ones and we were going into the battlefield trying to battle this virus,” she said.

“I encouraged everyone that our brothers and sisters, our fellow colleagues needed us. Let us go and support them.”

She said being in the medical profession has enabled her to always be ready psychologically, spiritually, and physically to be away from family.

She is currently the team leader nursing at the Labasa Hospital, a post she has held since 2017 after serving in Syria on a tour of duty with the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

Minister for Health and Medical Services, Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete, said they were grateful the young medical and nursing staff who have put their hands up to assist and also Medical Superintendent

Labasa Hospital for allowing their release.

The team will be deployed to the Western Division and Central Division today.

Edited by Losirene Lacanivalu

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj



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