New emergency response equipment for villages, hospitals

Health professionals and village councils have been handed potentially life-saving equipment for emergencies thanks to funding from the Green Climate Fund’s Vaisagano Catchment Project.

The 31 villages up and down the Vaisigano River will be given a comprehensive first aid kit and training on how to use them in the event of a natural disaster and evacuation.

An additional 35 emergency response bags have been handed over to the Ministry of Health. These are bright orange mobile emergency kits with essential first-response equipment in case the hospital is too far away or even damaged.

The Green Climate Fund Vaisigano Catchment Project (G.C.F.-V.C.P.) is a 25-year project costing US$65.7 million, and is focused on addressing infrastructure and human resources to address the ongoing issues cause by natural disasters and floods.

Project Manager Tevaga Pisaina Leilua-Lei Sam explained the Catchment Project is a multi-sectoral effort, and that helping communities’ emergency response is an essential part of it.

“They can use these self-sufficient bags on the field or where the emergencies are,” she said.

Tevaga said the project to procure emergency response bags and first aid kits began long before the pandemic hit, and that its effects on freight and shipping meant it took longer than expected to get the kits on island.

The emergency bags for the healthcare practitioners are kitted out according to what M.O.H. doctors asked for. They are from SÖHNGEN in Germany, which manufactures first aid emergency medical equipment.

The V.C.P villages begin in Afiamalu East to Matautu-Tai, Moataa on the Eastern side, and Tauese and Apia on the Western Side.

“We wanted to have these arrive first and now we will organise training for the village councils and villages,” Tevaga said. The training will be done in conjunction with the Disaster Management Office.

Leausa Dr. Take Naseri accepted the handover in a brief ceremony on Wednesday, and thanked the Green Climate Fund for the equipment.

After the ceremony doctors and nurses were invited to look at the emergency response bags before they are distributed across the hospital. 

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