While on vacation in Fiji last August, Rotarians  Philippe Lamoise and Dugan Moore from the Rotary Club of Del Mar in California, United States, paid a visit to the Rotary Club of Savuvsavu and were interested to support an initiative in Fiji.  They had heard about a request from the Savusavu Hospital Dental Unit that was in urgent need of a portable x-ray machine.  Without a dental X-ray machine, dental team were performing exams and repair work solely based on visual inspection


When they returned home, the couple fundraised and six months later they returned to Fiji to donate the much needed dental x-ray machine valued at USD7,000.

Medical officer in-charge, Dr Ricky Drish said the machine would enable his team to improve their care enormously giving them the tools to examine and diagnose dental health issues both at the clinic and out in the field. 

“Better and more precise dental care will save many teeth that would otherwise have been lost. Similarly, early diagnosis of childhood issues will let our patients preserve their teeth into adulthood," he said

The dental team in Savusavu serve about 14,000 patients a year and were constantly out in the field visiting schools and remote communities.Data from the Fiji's National Oral Health Survey carried out in 2004, revealed that over half of Fiji's population suffered from untreated dental caries, with 14.6% experiencing four or more decayed permanent teeth. The survey also found that 88% of 6 year olds in Fiji showed signs of dental caries (tooth decay) in their primary teeth and 85% have progressed dental caries (tooth decay) without any treatment.