The World Health Organization’s Division of Pacific Technical Support based in Suva, Fiji, and the WHO Country Liaison Office in Tonga are working to meet these varied needs alongside partners like the government of the United Kingdom (UK).
In particular, WHO and the UK are working together to ensure that countries have the medical equipment they need to diagnose and treat potential COVID-19 patients. This includes transport ventilators, portable oxygen concentrators, patient monitoring systems and portable x-ray machines sent to Tonga as well as Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
WHO has also developed and provided user-friendly guides and trained medical professionals to use the equipment correctly.
“Thanks to the UK’s support, WHO has been able to send and set up this essential equipment across the Pacific. This equipment is essential and will save lives, not only during the current pandemic but long into the future,” said Dr Akeem Ali, acting Director for WHO’s Division of Pacific Technical Support.
British High Commissioner to the Kingdom of Tonga Lucy Joyce said, ‘’I’m proud that the UK has been able to support WHO to help ensure that Tonga is well prepared in the fight against COVID-19’’.
The equipment procured with UK funding is appreciated by the health professionals who are now using it in their daily work.