11 février 2022

The Pacific Community (SPC) is deploying a team of health experts from the Public Health Division to support requests made by Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs), to assist with its COVID-19 preparedness and response.

Today a team of 5 health experts are travelling to Kiribati, while another 2 will travel to Tonga on Tuesday 15th February.

SPC is working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Kiribati and Tonga. The team will be supporting Kiribati and Tonga in the areas of infection, prevention and control, laboratory, clinical services, biomedical engineering, coordination, and data management.

SPC acknowledges the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for its support and collaborative efforts for the SPC deployment team to Kiribati.

Director for the Public Health Division, Dr Berlin Kafoa said that SPC has a long-standing partnership with DFAT and continues to work in the region to support and assist PICTs especially during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

“From the onset of the pandemic, SPC has been working remotely to support the region. We are now able to respond to country requests by deploying our technical health experts.”    

SPC is a member of the Pacific Humanitarian Pathway on COVID-19 (PHP-C), which provides regional leadership, direction, and coordination to enable the provision of medical and humanitarian assistance from regional and international organisations in a timely, safe, effective, and equitable manner. The Public Health Division is also a member of the World Health Organization (WHO)-led multi-agency Joint Incident Management Team (JIMT).

SPC also acknowledges its collaboration and partnership with other partner agencies and donors for all ongoing work in the region. Preparation to assist and deploy additional health experts to other countries such as the Solomon Islands is currently underway. 

For Kiribati, as of 10th February, the cumulative total of COVID-19 recorded cases in the country was 2,235 cases which comprises of forty-two (42) imported cases and 2,193 community cases on South Tarawa, Betio, Buota, Butaritari and North Tarawa. For Tonga, as of 10 February 2022, a total of 66 COVID-19 positive cases were reported (including 64 active cases).

Media contact(s):
Evlyn Mani, Communications Officer, Public Health Division (PHD), Pacific Community (SPC) | evlynm [at] spc.int

About SPC:
The Pacific Community has been supporting sustainable development in the Pacific, through science, knowledge and innovation since 1947. It is the principal intergovernmental organisation in the region, owned and governed by its 27 member countries and territories. 

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