Passion to serve

Kese is our home ... nurses and couple Jashnil Prasad and Ashwini Kumar at Kese Village on Naviti, Yasawa. Picture: SITERI SAUVAKACOLO

WHEN couple Jashnil Prasad and Ashwini Kumar were given a nursing posting to Yasawa two years ago, they took the opportunity with pride.

They believed they were born with the passion to serve and being nurses allowed them to serve people irrespective of location.

Jashnil is originally from Wainikoro, Labasa and his wife is from Toge, Ba so the opportunity to take up nursing career in a rural area was not new to them because they both grew up in farming settlements and they were too familiar with life in a rural setting.

He had to leave behind his wife in 2016 and crossed the Yasawa waters to start off his career at Kese on Naviti, Yasawa.

When his wife joined him three months later, Jashnil had already familiarised himself with the villagers, the food and the Yasawa dialect.

“My first three months on the island was just quite challenging….i was a bit homesick but the lovely people here made me forget home and I just fell in love with the place from that day until today,” Jashnil said.

“We love the people, the weather and the food and we love the local Yasawa dialect.

“We love this place so much and there is nothing bad about being posted in such rural areas.”

But being nurses in such remote places in Fiji’s maritime areas has had its fair share of challenges and for the couple, they have learnt to deal with health issues they come across one at a time and with much patience and care.

While there may be no medical officer available on the island at times, they have always learnt to make do with whatever little resources they have available and to make sure that every sick villager is attended to.

“It’s very hard and challenging…..we are under resourced sometimes, there is no water but we still manage to pull through.

“Sometimes we face major challenges of babies and children getting sick, severe dehydration, severe cough causing pneumonia so this is when we advise Lautoka Hospital for urgent medical assistance.”

Their daily lives revolve around the village of Kese.

When there is no water, they suffer with the villagers together so they will be carting water from the well with the villagers.

When there is unfavourable weather, the villagers are always there to look after their nurses.

When it’s breadfruit season, they will not have to worry about food as villagers will always be there to supply root crops to them.

And when the villagers head out to fish, there will always be some for Jashnil and Ashwini, the couple who have been part of their village for the past two years.

And there is no looking back for the couple as Yasawa has taught them hard work, perseverance and the will to take pride in their work.

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