The Royal Australian Air Force has delivered the first of two shipments of emergency medical supplies to the Solomon Islands government, which is currently managing a COVID-19 outbreak.
A C-17A Globemaster arrived in Honiara on Sunday (23 January), carrying a 19-tonne package with 100 oxygen concentrators and 11 COVID-19 country kits.
The country kits include PPE (masks, gloves, sanitiser, infection control equipment), medical supplies and equipment.
Approximately six tonnes of UNICEF emergency water and sanitation and dignity kits are due to arrive to the island nation once the second delivery has been completed.
The Commonwealth government is in the process of procuring a second tranche of medical equipment, which includes a GeneXpert machine and testing equipment (for COVID-19 test processing); a mobile cool room and backup incinerator for waste management for the National Referral Hospital; and a replacement forklift and new incinerator for the National Medical Stores.
“Australia and Solomon Islands know the importance of partnership. Responding to this current COVID-19 outbreak together is no exception,” Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said.
Minister for Defence Peter Dutton noted the importance of supporting the country’s ongoing management of the pandemic.
“Tackling COVID-19 is a global challenge and I am pleased the ADF can support Solomon Islands’ pandemic response,” he said.
“This comes on top of the ADF’s deployment of personnel to Honiara in November last year to help the Solomon Islands government restore law and order”.
Minister for International Development and the Pacific Zed Seselja added, “This support, at a difficult time for Solomon Islands, comes on the back of 263,000 AstraZeneca vaccines doses that we’ve delivered since the beginning of the pandemic.
“We’re partnering closely with Solomon Islands government to identify any additional support required.”
Article courtesy of Defence Connect.