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N.Z. Defence Force assists measles effort

The New Zealand Defence Force (N.Z.D.F.) has joined the international effort in Samoa to tackle the measles epidemic.

The Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour, said the N.Z.D.F. is on hand to support the Samoa government’s response to the epidemic and is working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (M.F.A.T).

Their main support is through the provision of logistical support to move cargo such as drugs and emergency supplies.

“We’re working closely with M.F.A.T. to provide assistance through aircraft and manpower where it’s needed,” he said. 

“We’re glad we can do something to help our Pacific neighbours and our thoughts are with everyone affected.”

On Tuesday a total of 2,784 kilograms of cargo comprising hand sanitiser, chilling bins for vaccine transportation, vaccine fridges, power supply for fridges and 150 cartons of medical supplies were moved by a Royal New Zealand Air Force (R.N.Z.A.F) Boeing 757.

Last Friday a R.N.Z.A.F. C-130 Hercules flew an oxygen generator, oxygen compressors and condensers and bottles to Samoa, following an urgent request from the M.F.A.T. 

The same aircraft then flew back to Nadi, Fiji to uplift 50,000 measles vaccines for Samoa, which were provided by the UNICEF for Samoa’s nationwide vaccination programme.

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