He was speakingabout the Pasifika Health Reform Ministry programme held at Mapumai meeting hall from July 11- August 16.
The ministry team included Kiribati naturopathic doctor, Dr Raubane Kirimaua and Fijian project manager Tima Kirimaua, working in collaboration with The Advent Truth Ministry Aitutaki team.
Led by Pastor Tepare Solomona and Marianne Solomona, the team included Mere Nelio, Raroua Hewwitt, Pitomai Solomona, and Mii Solomona, as well as volunteers from Rarotonga: Vaine Murray, Nani Solomona and Mavis Aratangi. Also there was Rita Kirimaua from the US. In Atiu, Nooroa Paratainga and Api Upokokeu helped coordinate community participation during the team’s visit.
This health team was made up of Pacific Islanders and the majority were Maori. They shared great knowledge about native and local: plants, medicinal practices, and cooking.
Dr Kirimaua said he pursued naturopathic medicine to empower Pacific Islands people to care and help each other to heal.
The team first came to Atiu in September 2014 and the community asked them to return. Many Atiuans were attracted to the health reform message.
While medical practice in hospitals uses surgery and prescribed drugs to treat pain, the team uses nutrition, exercise, water, sunlight, temperance, air, rest and trust in God to cure illness. The focus on eating plant-based foods, growing home gardens, eliminating prescription medications, and putting trust in a Higher Power inspired 32 participants and 10 students. Said Cook Island Christian Church Reverend Michael Akava: "Thank you for opening these opportunities for better health to all Atiuans, not just Seventh Day Adventists. I want to change my life. I'm exercising, watching what I eat and I've started a home garden to be healthy."
The Mapumai meeting mouse bustled with activity each day. A typical day started with early morning exercise, spiritual devotion, and patient screening. After a food demonstration at noon, community members participated in juicing (including bringing in nu and veggies to juice or eat raw), massage therapy, making and sharing natural remedies, health consultations, and afternoon classes. A five-week training workshop called “Pasifika Health Reform Basic Training Course,” was also offered, producing 10 student graduates ranging in age from 18 to 64.
The team hopes these students will share what they learned from the workshop, which covered topics such as: chronic diseases, anatomy and physiology, diet and nutrition, environmental health, drugs versus natural remedies, healthy food preparation, exercise, and “medical evangelism.”
Graduates also learned massage therapy and how to prepare natural remedies, as well as drafting grant proposal ideas for realistic and sustainable local health programmes.
Said Ngatiarua community leader Piri Touna: “If the family sticks on this programme of eating from the land, they will save a lot of money.”
Shops in Atiu unfortunately do not sell the fresh fruits and vegetables required for the daily diet promoted by the programme:
“The only thing is you have to plant your own home garden. I’m planting cabbage, lettuce, and tomatoes. I will share it. More blessings will come when I give,” said Punua Tauraa of Teenui. The Atiu participants extend their great appreciation to The Advent Truth Ministry Aitutaki for their generous donations of food preparation and health monitoring equipment for the community.
Thanks also to Air Raro for their generous support.
- Sauliloa Niumeitolu