Australia-New Zealand ‘Bravo’ Medical Assistance Team Arrives

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This afternoon, Fijian Minister of Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete joined Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes and New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji Jonathan Curr to

through Department of Health and Medical Services, Australian Aid and New Zealand High Commission.

New Zealand and Australian High Commissions with the Bravo ANZMAT team who arrived in Nadi today.

This afternoon, Fijian Minister of Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete joined Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes and New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji Jonathan Curr to welcome a second ANZMAT team – Bravo – which will include 14 medical staff. from Australia and New Zealand and three liaison officers.

The Bravo team, the majority of whom arrived aboard an Australian Defense Forces (ADF) C-17 aircraft today, will replace the Alpha ANZMAT team which has been in Fiji since June 21, working closely together. with their counterparts in the Department of Health and Medical Services to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Fiji.

Other medical personnel will arrive in the coming days.

“The Government of Fiji is truly grateful for the support provided to us by the Government of Australia and the Government of New Zealand through the Australian-New Zealand Joint Medical Assistance Team.”

“It couldn’t have come at a better time. We needed help, and you have generously offered to stand by our side during this very difficult time. The ANZMAT Alpha team have been doing extremely well over the past few weeks and we thank them for their efforts.

“FEMAT and the ministry look forward to working with the replacement Bravo team to tackle this deadly virus in Fiji for the health of our people,” Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said.

In addition to transporting the team, the C-17 brought:
3 fully equipped ambulances
2000kg of PPE & medical supplies
50 stretcher beds
Oxygen concentrators and medical equipment to meet critical care needs

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“Aotearoa New Zealand is proud to deploy a second group of New Zealand medical specialists, alongside our Australian partners, to this medical assistance team, to further support the management of Fiji’s health system.

“The spirit of the Vuvale has never been stronger, and we will continue to work collectively to strengthen Fiji’s resilience in the face of COVID-19,” New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji Jonathan Curr said.

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Based on advice from the Alpha ANZMAT team, the majority of which will leave Fiji for Australia on Monday July 19, this ANZMAT Bravo team will primarily focus on infection prevention and control, workforce and systems at Colonial War Memorial Hospital and will provide support to other facilities in Suva, including FEMAT Hospital, as required.

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“Australia continues to support Fiji as we fight COVID-19 together. “

“Bravo’s arrival today signals our commitment to Fiji and brings new hope to the frontline heroes of Fiji who have been hit hard by this terrible virus for many months. “

“With the million vaccines provided by Australia, we hope this support will help Fiji bring the epidemic under control,” said John Feakes.

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On Monday July 19, most of the ANZMAT Alpha team, which arrived on June 21, will leave Fiji.

While there, the team helped the Department of Health and Medical Services establish an intermediate care facility at the National Gymnasium, which will serve as a model for other ICFs to be created by the Fijian government.

Dr Naomi Gough, a New Zealand Defense Forces medical expert who has deployed with Team Alpha, will remain in Suva until the end of July and will continue to provide public health advice.

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The Alpha team has deployed a rapid response unit to numerous health facilities in Suva to help local staff strengthen infection prevention control protocols.

They studied the entire health system in Suva, including looking at the oxygen capacity of Fiji.

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As Fiji continues to face the full brunt of COVID-19 and its devastating effects, Australia and New Zealand stand ready to support Fiji’s health systems and their frontline heroes to ensure that Fiji can recover.

Together we can.

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