Dr. Kaiva Tulimanu who has served in the Tuvalu’s Health Department has returned to serve in Tuvalu after 30 years. Dr Tulimanu decided to move on in life in February 1987 to serve in Vanuatu. Although he had paid short ad-hoc visits to Tuvalu on private businesses, his visit this time was an invitation by the Tuvalu’s Health Department to relieve the surgeon who was also a contracted expatriate from Papua New Guinea. Although it was a short contract of six weeks, he really enjoyed his time with the staff of the Princess Margret Hospital.
When asked to comment on the current hospital services compared to the time when he was serving in Tuvalu, he said the hospital is a new one, better equipped as well as having new staff. But, he could see the need for better supervision and management of the doctors, seeing that many of the doctors are quite young.
Dr Kaiva Tulimanu outside the verandah of his accommodation at Dr Falesa Pitoi’s guest house at Tekavatoetoe
Dr Tulimanu explained to KMT News that he runs a private hospital in Port Villa, Vanuatu and it is the biggest private hospital in the country. There are three of them doctors who are employed in the hospital but he owns the hospital together with a German doctor. Since that they have three doctors in the hospital, he can now take time off to attend to any future invitation by the Tuvalu Government and he looks forward to returning when invited.
In his six-weeks contract in Tuvalu, he could see that most of the patient he saw were suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure and heart diseases. He said that this was a result of a change in diet from local food to processed food sold in the stores. He recommended Tuvaluans to try and eat local food and do away with processed food.
Dr. Kitiona Tausi