The mobile health clinic project, the brainchild of the Masterton South Rotary Club, is now completed, in the form of a brightly decorated bus, fitted with medical equipment and wifi to allow it to be used as a command centre in a disaster event.
Project manager and Masterton South Rotarian David Baker said it was almost exactly a year ago that he, Dr Rob Irwin, and Tranzit’s Paul Snelgrove, of Masterton, visited Rarotonga to evaluate the island’s health needs.
“Initially they had been looking for assistance in upgrading their clinics around the island at a cost of about $5000 to $10,000 each,” Baker said.
There were 27 clinics around the island.
“Paul said, ‘well I’ve got a bus we can convert’, Rob said, ‘I can get medical equipment’, and we decided that we could have a superior health clinic that was mobile that could be staffed by two qualified nurses.
“This way, the needs of the community would be fully met, and it would be cheaper.” The cost of the project was $171,000, with funding coming from four Rotary districts, 16 Rotary clubs within the lower North Island, and Rotary International.
“Paul and Tranzit have been absolutely incredible with their generosity,” Baker said.
“People have been blown away by what has been produced, and we are very proud of what has been done.”
The bus will be driven up to Auckland and is scheduled to arrive in the Cook Islands on May 31. It will be officially welcomed in Rarotonga on June 18.
A celebration was held in Masterton on Sunday (NZ time) to mark the completion of the project.