A mobile x-ray machine was donated to Rarotonga Hospital by Blenheim Hospital in New Zealand, along with a lead gown for the operator. Meanwhile, Breast Screen New South Wales donated two high resolution monitors which will be used with a “mini image archive” to view high definition images for diagnosis of breast cancer and other X-rays.
Two x-ray cassette readers and cassettes were also donated by Bega Valley Radiology.
In a media release, members of the technical volunteer team which accompanied the equipment to Rarotonga said the readers were able to convert x-ray images to high resolution digital images without the need for expensive x-ray film and chemicals.
The Rotary Club of Nunawading in Victoria, Australia, donated funds, while Rotary District 9810 gave a matching grant to help finance the project.
The cassette readers and mini archive systems were better for the environment, reducing the need to print images on traditional film or write them to CD, the release said.
“The digital storage of images also minimises costs for the Ministry of Health – Te Marae Ora.
“The mobile x-ray system also allows the hospital to use one machine in the wards and one in the theatres and emergency department.”
A group of local and visiting Rotarians and Cook Islands Breast Cancer Foundation members as well as Ministry of Health secretary Aumea Herman and staff from the hospital’s radiology team were at Rarotonga Hospital early yesterday morning for the official handover of the equipment.
Also there were members of the technical volunteer team including Christchurch-based field service engineer Jason Walker, Canberra, Australia-based Philips field service engineer Howard Carman and Philips interventional x-ray equipment specialist (and Rotarian) Peter Koens, who has been managing this project on behalf of the Rotary Club of Nunawading.
Matson and DSV paid for transport of the equipment from Auckland to Rarotonga, while transport from Christchurch to Auckland was supplied by Bascik Transport.
Rarotonga Rotary Club president Jaewynn McKay said: “The Rotary Club of Rarotonga, has a long history of being associated with projects such as this one.
“The degree of our input varies from project to project. This time around we were able to coordinate the sponsorship of the shipping of the three machines to the Cook Islands thanks to Matson, who have been very generous with their support of Rotary projects.
“Ours is a very small club and we rely on the support of businesses like Matson to bring our projects to fruition. Though small in numbers we tackle some pretty big projects.
“Coming up November 10 is the annual Bob Boyd Memorial Golf Ambrose. Together with the annual raffle, these events comprise our major fundraising efforts for the year.
Just as they have in the past, I hope they will be well supported by our community.”