USAID boosts health ministry ventilator consumables’ stock

Fiji’s Ministry of Health has been provided some breathing space, at least over the next three months, in terms of having access to critical care consumables for use on specialised life-saving ventilators being used across the country, thanks to USAID.

In September 2020, during the first wave of COVID-19 in Fiji, the ministry received a donation of 30 ZOLL ventilators. These ventilators were placed in three divisional hospitals to be used in intensive care units (ICU) and high dependency units (HDU), supporting individuals who need mechanical assistance in breathing. When they were brought in, certain specs of the ventilators were changed to make them suitable for use in Fiji. This meant the ministry needed to ensure that it had these specific parts or consumables to support the use and sustainability of the ventilators and thereafter management of critically ill patients. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chains were affected, and so too MOH’s supply of these consumables.

To this end, the MOH reached out to the USAID for assistance, eventuating in the provision of supplies that US Charge’ D’Affaires Tony Greubel handed over to the ministry, via PS Health Dr James Fong in Suva today.

In receiving the supplies, Dr Fong said it would give the ministry some time to resolve its supply chain to ensure critical care services are maintained.

“None of these supply chains will be able to reorient themselves very fast,” Dr Fong said. “It will take time for us to be able to get ourselves to firmer footings therefore the arrival of these consumables is timely.”

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