Banaban Voice

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FIJI TIMES ONLINE Tuesday, August 11, 2009

MARTA and Tom Tooma have been travelling to Fiji for more than 10 years after they instantly fell in love with the place. Doctors by profession, the couple would constantly visit Vanua Levu. The couple decided to build a clinic at Natuva Creek after Dr Marta was invited by former diver Stephen Arrington.

Mr Arrington said while he was in Vanua Levu, he heard about Vatuvonu school in Buca Bay, and it made him start the dream machine foundation. He said he teamed up with the Toomas and used two classrooms at Vatuvonu to hold free clinics for people in the area.

"They've seen about 10-15,000 patients around the area so far," he said.

"After seeing that many patients and cases, the doctors decided to set up a permanent clinic in the area."

Mr Arrington said the Toomas acquired 850 acres at Natuva creek and took more than three years to build the clinic at a cost of $2.5m. He said the clinic was called The Mission and has state-of-the-art laser technology. He said the clinic provided free dental and eye checks and was open everyday. He said the clinic was looked after by a general physician, who provided basic medical care to villagers in the area.

"Teams of physicians who have completed a visit to the clinic and also did health checks on Rabi Island.

"The project was to give something back to the people of Fiji."

We have been asked why build was the clinic built in the bush and not in the city. The people in the bush need these clinics more then those in the cities and towns.

"With the setting up of this clinic it has made it easy for those who travel far distances into town to be seen."

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