June 18-28, 2019
Bilikiki has returned from its annual medical mission with the Loloma Foundation. 17 volunteers from the USA, Australia, and the Solomon Islands came with tons of medical supplies to provide free medical care to the local people in eight remote villages of the Russell and Florida Islands.
Our dive deck was converted into a floating dental practice, the patients were ferried across in tinnies and the rest of the team set up clinics every day for paediatrics, general medicine, optometry, women's health and pharmacy. The educational sessions on women's health were attended by a huge number of women of all ages and hundreds of reusable menstrual kits were handed out. The people came to the clinics from different villages, many of them having paddled in their dugout canoes for hours. The Loloma team held over 2600 consultations and saw many illnesses - scabies, malaria, a broken jaw, diabetes and high blood pressure, to name only a few. It was incredibly humbling to see the conditions that some people lived with with only very basic or even no medical care at all. The dentists kept busy too with hundreds of extractions, fillings and oral surgeries. The Bilikiki crew helped every day to carry the heavy boxes ashore and set up the clinics. They also acted as translators and helped wherever needed.
Our trip from Siota to the last stop in Tulagi took us through the "Popcorn Passage" during our evening debriefing with a spectacular sunset - a real treat for the exhausted team! We cannot thank all the volunteers on this mission, the Loloma foundation and the Bilikiki crew enough for all their efforts and enthusiasm in helping so many people once again! You are all incredible and made a huge difference in many people's lives! We are looking forward to seeing you again next year!
Tagio tumas and best fishes from all of us at Bilikiki,
Tina & Oli