WHO handing over laboratory equipment for COVID-19 testing to Fiji Centre for Disease Control
Working with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, WHO has so far delivered over 32000 items of personal protective equipment (PPE) and over USD $100,000 worth of PCR (laboratory) testing supplies to support its COVID-19 response. WHO has also embedded a full-time staff working with the Emergency Operations Centre to provide technical support.
On Sunday, the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services of Fiji received a boost in its testing capabilities following a handover of further testing supplies and testing kits by the World Health Organization (WHO).
WHO Representative to Fiji and the South Pacific, Director of the Division of Pacific Technical Support, Dr. Corinne Capuano handed over the kits to the Fijian Minister for Health and Medical Services, Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete at the Fiji Centre for Disease Control laboratory in Tamavua.
“It is very encouraging to see that Fiji hasn’t reported any new COVID-19 cases for more than two weeks now, it is a good start, but we are not out of the woods. This is why we are making sure that we are continuing to support efforts to support the health system response to COVID-19, including delivering new testing kits, so that when restrictions are eased, it won’t lead to a resurgence of disease and that the health system is prepared to identify, isolate and care for the sick.” Says Dr Corinne Capuano.
genexpert 1©WHO JIN NI copyThe testing kits include critical supplies of items for PCR testing that have been used in country since March by Fiji CDC, and new cartridges for the GeneXpert equipment, which is widely used around the world for tuberculosis, to test for COVID-19.
This is the first batch of cartridges for GeneXpert sent to Fiji and the pacific. More will be delivered to Fiji and the region in the next few weeks when the production picks up for the manufacturer.
IMG_4950 copyThe overall support for the Pacific COVID-19 preparedness and response is coordinated by a Joint Incident Management Team. Lead by the WHO, the JIMT currently includes representatives from various UN agencies (UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNOCHA, UNRCO, UNW, WFP), the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade(DFAT), the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade(MFAT) the Pacific Community (SPC) the Pacific Island Health Officers’ Association (PIHOA), the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and others.