Well-known medical practitioner, Dr. Isoa Bakani was an iconic figure and a great teacher to many.
These were the words of the medical practitioner and former Minister for Health, Dr. Neil Sharma, who reminisced on the good times shared with the late Dr. Bakani.
Dr. Bakani passed away on September 9 and he was due to turn 89-years-old this Saturday.
Close colleague, Dr. Sharma, said he was a great mentor and it was sad to lose someone who had contributed immensely to the medical fraternity and to the country.
“He is an iconic figure as a teacher, a researcher, and a great clinician,” said Dr. Sharma.
“In the area of cardiology, out of all the doctors in the 60s, these were people who did lots of work in the area of clinical practice.
“He is sort of like a father to us and like a mentor and it is sad that life comes to an end but I’m quite confident of all the younger doctors.”
Dr. Sharma said it was his prayer that his family found peace during this difficult time.
Youngest Daughter Pays Farewell
Dr. Isoa Bakani’s youngest daughter Naomi Bakani said her father was one who advocated hard on non-communicable diseases in the country. In particular, heart diseases where his specialty lies.
Ms. Bakani said because of this, he chose to continue serving as a medical practitioner until the day he passed on.
“My father was born and raised in Lomaiviti, he attended Sawaieke District School in Gau, then to Ratu Kadavulevu School before completing his last two years of secondary education at Queen Victoria School (QVS) as one of the pioneering students in Matavatucou, the place where it is situated today,” she said.
“He was handpicked straight from his classroom in Matavatucou and placed into the Fijian Medical School. He was one of the pioneering medical doctors who were born out of the pioneering students of QVS.
“He was the sole survivor of that lot of students who were handpicked from QVS.”
She said her father would always tell her that whatever they did while they were young would determine the future and the longevity of their lives.
“He would talk about the struggles of his childhood where he would walk seven miles each way to and from school from Somosomo Village to Sawaieke when he was in primary school from class one to six,” she said.
“This contributed to his healthy lifestyle.”
Dr. Isoa Bakani’s cortege left the Natovi Jetty at 2.30 pm yesterday for Levuka, Ovalau.
He will be laid to rest today at Arovudi Village.
Dr. Bakani is survived by two children, 12 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.