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Nurse Niral learns diving in Vanuavatu

February 18, 2021 12:25 pm
Resident nurse in Lau Niral Maharaj.

Spending the past three years as a nurse in Lau has been quite a learning experience for Niral Maharaj.

The 27-year-old is the resident nurse at Taira which is the only village on Vanuavatu.

His upbringing at Navai, Seaqaqa in Macuata has helped the 27-year-old cope with the challenges.

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Maharaj says it was a childhood dream to serve as a nurse in a rural community and being in Vanuavatu has taught him a lot of life lessons.

He says food and the lifestyle weren’t a problem for him.

“For the whole of last year I stayed with the Turaga Ni Koro so I was not cooking or anything, most of the time I spend in the village, sometimes I sleep down there so most of the time I spend down there in the village, I just come up here to work and go back down again to the village.”

The former Navai Primary and Batinikama Secondary School student says in the afternoon he plays volleyball with the villagers.

He adds he goes out fishing with the men at times and even go diving.

Maharaj says he is still learning how to dive for fish but it’s something he found interesting.

Despite the work challenges like transporting a patient to Lakeba via fibreglass boat for one and half hour, the determined nurse is committed to his calling.

In Vanuavatu there’s no communication with the outside world after 6pm until 7am the next day.

He says sometimes a patient will be brought at night and he had to stay with him or her until he contacts the medical team in Lakeba.

The only time Maharaj will visit his family in Vanua Levu is during his annual leave at the end of the year.

He serves 146 people on Vanuavatu Island and says he never regretted the decision to pursue a career in nursing.

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