Feature

Dr Matatolu’s Call Of Duty In Kadavu Means More Time Away From Family

“I am very fortunate to be married to someone who understands all these that we do. Our family prays for us. They know the work we do. It’s a norm now to be away from loved ones,” he said.
05 Sep 2021 15:06
Dr Matatolu’s Call Of Duty In Kadavu Means More Time Away From Family
Dr Viliame Matatolu with his wife, Dr Finau Matatolu and their daughter, Nawela Matatolu.

When Doctor Viliame Matatolu got deployed to Kadavu with the COVID Response outreach team, his three-year-old daughter, Nawela, exclaimed: “not again daddy!”

Dr Matatolu , 39, is the Senior Medical Officer for Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department in the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH), but is currently Frontlining in Kadavu.

Dr Matatolu’s wife, Finau Matatolu, is an anesthetist at CWMH.

She was also away from her family when she was deployed to Rakiraki Hospital for more than a month. While she was away, Dr Viliame looked after Nawela.

And now that he is away from his daughter for the first time, he said he can understand what his wife must have been through when she was sent away from home.

“I am very fortunate to be married to someone who understands all these that we do. Our family prays for us. They know the work we do. It’s a norm now to be away from loved ones,” he said.

“The most challenging moment in my seven years of being a Senior Medical Officer is not being able to see my family, especially my daughter,” he said.

Dr Matatolu said leaving home for a month and not being sure as to when he would be back home was something he had come to accept.

“It’s one of the hardest thing to do. Secondly, having to be on the alert all the time for any short calls like deployments is a challenge,” he added.

He said it was not just him, but there were other fathers who were deployed to Kadavu with the COVID Response Team.

“A lot of times, we have conversed over the phone with our children and family members as we know the risks we may put them at when we come home,” Dr Matatolu said.

Having been vaccinated and putting on PPE when seeing patients has eased this compared to when COVID started.

“In actual fact, now we try by all means to spend as much time as we can with our daughter and family at home knowing that the call to serve is at the very heart of why we are here.”

Roles

In this deployment to Kadavu, Dr Matatolu’s role is to plan a system of screening and monitoring of pregnant mothers out there who are being locked down in their villages.

And at the same time, provide emergency treatment whether it be medical, surgical or evacuation to tertiary hospitals for pregnant mothers presenting to the Vunisea Hospital.

“I miss my family, but I must say that it is so fulfilling to know that I am part of a group that is here to serve the people,” he said.

He added that he was honoured to serve his nation and his people during this pandemic.

“I have been humbled, faced ups and downs, faced new experiences and at times pushed to the limits and at the end of the day, it is rewarding to serve my people,” he said.

Feedback: shreeya.verma@fijisun.com.fj



Five Square diwali dhamaka 2021


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Tower Insurance
FNPF
Covid 19 - SPC
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper