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June 2 2021

The escalating number of COVID-19 cases in the Pacific has prompted increased collaboration between regional institutions and international donors to safeguard the Pacific people from the ongoing pandemic.

The USAID funded Ventilator project to Fiji, Kiribati and Nauru procured and distributed 50 ventilators to respond to COVID-19 critically ill patients when needed in the three countries.

The ventilators are specialised medical equipment used in intensive care units (ICU) and high dependency units (HDU) to support individuals who need mechanical assistance in breathing.

The Pacific Community (SPC) facilitated training of Health Care Providers - clinicians, nurses and biomedical technicians to install, utilise and maintain these ventilators. SPC also conducted facility level assessments in these countries prior to the arrival of ventilators.

Through interactive and participatory learning, in depth focus was on understanding and appropriate use of these ventilators, managing a critically ill COVID-19 patient during ventilation and ensuring there is minimal to no transmission of infection through proper donning and doffing of the PPEs.

SPC has worked closely with these 3 countries to support clinical ventilator training, face-to-face and remotely. There have been at least 5 face-to-face trainings in Fiji, with 4 virtual trainings in Kiribati and Nauru. 

Dr Silina Motofaga, Clinical Services Adviser at SPC’s Public Health Division said, “Despite border closures we are delivering trainings virtually for Kiribati and Nauru while face-to-face trainings continue in Fiji. Countries provided feedback on the need for more consumables and now with additional funding support from USAID we are working to procure and supply the same.”

SPC remains committed to support Fiji, Kiribati and Nauru through the provision of ventilator consumables, Biomedical and Nursing technical assistance.