RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Believe it or not, the South Pacific islands have some of the highest rates of type 2 diabetes in the world. Many of the natives on the more remote islands have little or no access to care.
Our very own medical expert, Dr. Kevin Campbell, will be leaving on Sunday to lead a medical team to the remote island of Batiki to provide medical care to over 200 natives for three weeks. He is here today to tell us more about his mission.
1. Tell us about the adventure you are about to go on in Fiji?
I have been asked to lead a medical team of six healthcare professionals to the island of Batiki. Batiki is a small island off the coast of Fiji that is home to 200 natives, most of whom have never seen a doctor and have limited access to healthcare. These natives have high rates of diabetes and are also at risk for other diabetes-related illnesses.
I will be working with a charity called Sea Mercy that has been providing cyclone relief to South Pacific islanders for several years. Batiki has limited resources such as running water and power. We will be living with natives in one of the four villages on the island — this is a great honor for a visitor.
2. What do you hope to accomplish while you are there?
First and foremost, my goal is to provide support and care for the natives of Batiki. I will be screening for and treating diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. We will have a nutritionist with us who will help counsel villagers about better dietary choices in order to reverse type 2 diabetes. Most importantly, I will be providing service to those in need.
3. What do you expect to be your biggest challenges?
Certainly living on a remote island is something I have never done before. I expect that separation from family and friends and the primitive conditions will be particularly tough for me. I plan to use this as an opportunity to push my own personal limits and learn something about myself that I did not know before. I think that it is an enormous opportunity for personal growth.
4. Are you scared? Can you keep us posted during your journey?
To be honest, I am scared to death. I have never done anything like this in my career. I will be documenting my journey, and, assuming we are able to gain access to a satellite phone, I will post a journal on this website.