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International Healthcare mission helps Tongan patients

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Photo by Linny Folau.

Dr Chelliah Gnanaharan and Dr Padmini Gnanaharan (centre back) with the Healthcare Christian Fellowship group in Tonga. Sela's Guest House, Nuku'alofa, 26 August 2016.

Offering free health checks, specialist medical examinations, and spiritual counseling, a group of 19 Christian health care professionals from Australia, New Zealand and Vanautu concluded their Tonga mission at the very busy Kolovai Health Clinic, Tongatapu, on Friday.

The group was led by Melbourne medical practitioner Dr Chelliah Gnanaharan and his wife Dr Padmini Gnanaharan an opthalmologist (eye specialist).

The visit was organized by the Healthcare Christian Fellowship (Oceania) based in Pinewood, Victoria, Australia, who have been planning their Tonga visit for over a year, supported by voluntary contributions.

Dr Padmini said they initially aimed to serve the outer islands of Tonga, but on this first trip went out to the village clinics on Tongatapu. “We will try to come back next year and go to the outer islands,” she said.

The Healthcare Christian Fellowship International is a global organization that is evangelical and nondenominational. It recognizes that more people pass through hospitals and other healthcare facilities of the world each year than through its churches. The HCF Ministry is directed at health field staff, local churches and though these groups to patients and their relatives. In many troubled parts of the world health care professionals are able to cross national borders that are normally closed to others. The East Asia and Pacific region of the fellowship was first established in 1970 and has 11 member countries, including Fiji and Papua New Guinea.