The mobile clinic is the first project of its kind in the Cook Islands, and the bus is now ready for its reveal later next week says Rotary president Mark Boyd
“We see this mobile clinic as having a very high profile and it will be used to promote health initiatives.”
The bus will be donated to the Ministry of Health at a dedication ceremony scheduled for 10am on June 18 at Constitution Park.
“We have a number of dignitaries and visiting Rotarians from New Zealand attending the ceremony, including former New Zealand High Commissioner Nick Hurley and his wife Christine,” said Boyd.
The Hurleys are active members of the Rotary Club of Wellington District 9940 and Christine was the instigator of the original mobile health clinic idea during the time the Hurleys lived here.
“We were so pleased to hear the mobile health clinic project was initiated after we left the Cook Islands,” said Christine.
“We are looking forward to being back in Rarotonga to see the bus being presented to the Ministry of Health.”
The late Warren Carter, former president of the Rotary Club of Masterton South District 9940 presented the clinic concept to his club and fellow Rotarians David Baker, Dr Rob Irwin and Paul Snelgrove took up the idea.
They oversaw the fit-out of the bus, from supplying hospital equipment to installing solar power and an air conditioning unit. Graphics for the bus came from the Ministry of Health here in the Cook Islands and designed by a local designer.
Tranzit owner Paul Snelgrove, who donated the bus, says he saw the project as a chance to contribute to a community and bring about change.
“We are all very proud to present the mobile clinic to the people of the Cook Islands. We received donations and support from Rotary clubs all over New Zealand.”
The health ministry will use the mobile clinic to take medical services to Rarotonga’s villages, providing child and elderly health checks, blood bank drives and men’s health checks and be on standby at major events such as Vaka Eiva and Te Maeva Nui.
The ministry’s health promotions manager, Karen Tairea said the ministry was honoured to be gifted the bus.
“We do lots out in the community and we can sometimes be pushed for space, so this will be an ideal solution.
“To begin with we have our rheumatic heart disease screening and then it will be used for blood drives and to help with school health programmes.”
Said health minister Nandi Glassie: “We are very humbled to be receiving the mobile clinic on behalf of the ministry and for the people of Rarotonga. We know our people will benefit greatly from this.”
The bus cost $171,000 to fully renovate and equip.
- Jaimie Keay/Release