10,000 Toes campaign launches in Kiribati

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Kiribati vice president, Dr Teuea Toatu and his wife Brucetta, and Kiribati Mission president Pastor Taabua Rokeatau and his wife Raobe at the launch of the 10,000 Toes campaign.

People living in the remote Pacific nation of Kiribati are able to access health check-ups and workshops through a new wellness hub run by Seventh-day Adventists.

The Tarawa Wellness Hub, on the main island of South Tarawa, is being supported by the 10,000 Toes campaign, which launched in Kiribati on February 28. The launch, broadcast on Hope Radio, was attended by the country’s vice president Dr Teuea Toatu and his wife Brucetta, and Kiribati Mission president Pastor Taabua Rokeatau and his wife Raobe.

We are very excited by the launch of 10,000 Toes in Kiribati and what it’s going to mean for this isolated country

Dr Toatu was reportedly very impressed with the wellness hub, which is run by 10,000 Toes lead ambassador Teera Tarataake with assistance from an enthusiastic team of health workers. After the launch more than 50 people visited the centre requesting health check-ups and they were introduced to the CHIP program.

Like other Pacific nations, Kiribati is in the midst of a health crisis due to lifestyle diseases. According to 2019 health data, 81 per cent of Kiribati’s population is obese, with 36 per cent not meeting the World Health Organisation’s recommended physical activity guidelines. In 2019, 96 people had limbs amputated due to diabetes.

10,000 Toes coordinator Pam Townend said 30 screening kits have been sent to Kiribati as a result of generous donations to the 10,000 Toes campaign.

“We are very excited by the launch of 10,000 Toes in Kiribati and what it’s going to mean for this isolated country,” she said. “And we look forward to seeing a drop in amputations in the years to come.”

Mrs Tarataake said funds are urgently needed to buy a vehicle so that they can do health check-ups and workshops in remote communities, visit schools to do health talks and screenings, and to follow-up with people who are on the CHIP program.

“Hiring trucks here is very expensive and it would be better to have our own transport,” she said. “We are in terrible need of transport.”

10,000 Toes is an initiative of Adventist Health at the South Pacific Division. To support the program, please make a tax-deductible donation to https://www.adra.org.au/project/10000-toes/