Cure Kids Fiji invests in expertise to improve health for children

13 November 2020-

Cure Kids Fiji is proud to announce the funding of a scholarship for Dr Sainimere Boladuadua.

Dr Boladuadua has a Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Otago, New Zealand, and a Diploma in Obstetrics & Gynaecology from the Fiji School of Medicine.  In 2011, she also completed a Masters degree in Public Health (Distinction), at the University of Otago.

The scholarship from Cure Kids Fiji will support Dr Boladuadua to start a PhD at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, with the research topic ‘Improving access to care for sick children to reduce mortality and morbidity: mixed methods studies of high priority child infectious diseases in Fiji and New Zealand’.  Dr Boladuadua’s project directly aligns with Cure Kids Fiji’s mission – to improve the health of children in Fiji.

Cure Kids’ Fiji Oxygen Project is increasing access to oxygen throughout Fiji’s islands. For patients with severe respiratory illnesses like pneumonia, treatment with oxygen saves lives. The Fiji Oxygen Project not only introduces high-tech equipment, with the training to maintain it and use it in clinical care, it also supports healthcare facilities to ensure long-term access to this kind of healthcare. Through Dr Boladuadua’s research, the Fiji Oxygen Project will study the pathways in accessing care for children and their caregivers, and how to reduce barriers.

“It is vital that health systems research is owned by ‘insiders’,” says Dr Boladuadua. “As a Fijian female doctor currently working in Fiji, I am fortunate to have insight into the cultural and political nuances unique to our health system and vital to informing improvements to the system as a whole.”

“I’m grateful to Cure Kids Fiji for supporting my passion to build indigenous capacity and capability to perform Pasifika research by Pasifika for Pasifika peoples.”

The findings of this research will be presented to Ministries of Health in Fiji and New Zealand, to inform improvements for children in both health systems. By completing the PhD, Dr Boladuadua will also be in a position to promote Pacific-specific health research and foster further collaboration between the health sectors in Fiji and New Zealand.

This is the second PhD Scholarship which Cure Kids Fiji has funded. In 2019, Cure Kids Fiji funded Dr Joseph Kado to begin his research at the University of Western Australia on prevention of rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease – another area in which Cure Kids Fiji works.

“Cure Kids Fiji invests in projects which deliver both short- and long-term benefits for the people of Fiji,” says Tara Satyanand, General Manager for Cure Kids Fiji and Director of Research. “Dr Sai is dedicated to helping children, and also to gaining expertise, and sharing her knowledge with others. We know that supporting both Dr Kado and Dr Boladuadua is an investment in the future health of all children in Fiji.”