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Inauguration of Jaipur Foot Camp in Fiji - 03.11.2022.

Posted on: November 03, 2022 | Back | Print

High Commission of India

Inauguration of the Jaipur Foot Camp in Fiji

Press Release

The High Commission of India in Suva, in collaboration with the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services and Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), Jaipur (Rajasthan) is organizing the Jaipur Foot Camp for fitment of artificial limbs to over 600 amputees in Fiji at three locations, namely Suva, Nadi and Labasa, from 01 November – 17 December, 2022. The camp is being organized on the request of the Government of the Republic of Fiji. This grant in aid project involving an expenditure of FJD670,000 /- has been fully funded by the Government of India as part of “India for Humanity’’ programme.

This programme was launched to commemorate the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi in 2018 by late External Affairs Minister Sushma Swarajji. Under this programme over 8,000 beneficiaries in 18 countries in Asia and Africa have already been rehabilitated, exemplifying India’s belief in ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ - the world is a family. The camps are aimed at providing physical, economic and social rehabilitation of the differently-abled by helping them regain their mobility and dignity to become self-respecting and productive members of the society.

The Jaipur Foot Camp was formally inaugurated on 03 November, 2022 by Hon. Prime Minister of Fiji, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama. Also present at the event were Minister for Health and Medical Services (MHMS), Hon. Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete, Permanent Secretary, MHMS, Dr. James Fong, other Government Officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps, Heads of Indian Public Service Undertakings, beneficiaries and their family members.

In his speech, Prime Minister Bainimarama highlighted that the collaborative initiative aligns with efforts of Government of Republic of Fiji for achieving the principles of Universal Health Coverage by proving rehabilitation services to vulnerable and marginalized members of the society. He added that for these patients, life is about to change dramatically. He thanked the Government of India and the Jaipur team for the professionally fitted prosthetics that will boost feelings of self-esteem, self-worth, and dignity; provide hope for a brighter future; counter feelings of depression and raise the standard of living for people living with a disability in Fiji.

The High Commissioner, His Excellency P.S. Karthigeyan stressed the importance India attaches to its long-standing ties with Fiji built on mutual respect, trust, cooperation and a very strong people to people relations. High Commissioner stated India’s cooperation in the health sector remains a core part of the development partnership with Fiji. Even during the worst period of the pandemic, the level of cooperation in the health sector continued to grow whether in the form of supply of 100,000 Covid vaccines, under the Vaccine Maitri Initiative, which played an effective role in the very successful launch of the National vaccination programme in Fiji or the supply of life saving anti-retroviral drugs and the personal protective equipment despite huge domestic requirements in India. This Jaipur Foot Camp continues the tradition of high impact community oriented project that India is known for. He underlined India’s continuous assistance in nation and capacity building in Fiji and to work closely to unlock the full potential for the mutual benefit for people of both the countries.  

In his welcome remarks, Executive President, BMVSS, Jaipur, Ambassador Satish Mehta explained the advantages of Jaipur Foot technology, offered to train more Fijian technicians in Jaipur Foot technology and suggested that Fiji become a regional hub for Jaipur Foot limbs.

The Hon. Prime Minister and senior dignitaries were given a tour of the lab and witnessed the limb-making process and expressed admiration that a perfect-fitting limb could be made in a day. Hon. Prime Minister handed over custom-made artificial limbs to some of the beneficiaries.

According to concerned health authorities in Fiji, the artificial limbs provided by Jaipur Foot/BMVSS are best suited to the needs of the amputees in Fiji and Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services have an ongoing cooperation with Jaipur Foot/BMVSS to meet the mobility requirements of amputees in Fiji.

Around 300 such amputees have been registered for fitment of limbs from the Central Division. The services for these amputees will be provided at Tamavua Towmey Hospital, Suva in the first phase of the camp from 01 – 16 November, 2022. The next phase will be held at Nadi Hospital from 18 – 30 November, 2022 attending to around 200 registered amputees from Western Division. The third phase of the Camp will be held at National Council for Disabilities, Labasa from 02 – 09 November, 2022 providing artificial limbs to around 100 needy people of Northern Division in Fiji. For the last phase, the BMVSS team will return to Suva to attend to around 50 amputees from the Eastern Division. 

Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), based in Jaipur (Rajasthan, India), is the world’s largest organization working for rehabilitation of disabled persons. The prosthetic limb, popularly known as Jaipur Foot, has gained worldwide recognition for its efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness. Since inception, BMVSS has rehabilitated more than 2 million amputees and polio patients by fitting / providing artificial limbs (Jaipur Foot variety), calipers, and other aids and appliances, in India as well as in 27 countries across the world conducting over 60 camps overseas. The last Jaipur Foot Camp was held at Tamavua Twomey Hospital, Suva in year 2011 and around 300 amputees were provided with artificial limbs.