TEN New Zealand and two Australian health personnel will be operational in Honiara from today.
The five doctors, four nurses, two logisticians, mission leader with support from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade arrived on Wednesday in Honiara and will start work today.
The New Zealand led team will be in Honiara, working at the National Referral Hospital for a fortnight before being replaced with a second team at the end of the month.
The medical team will be helping with flood related diseases – particularly children with diarrhoea – which can cause serious illness if not treated.
“The team will provide the National Referral Hospital with medical support” said Acting High Commissioner Sarah Wong. “New Zealand is pleased to be able to assist Solomon Islands during this time of need.”
Australia’s High Commissioner, Andrew Byrne said Australia and New Zealand had previously provided medical personnel to Solomon Islands in times of crisis.
“Australia and New Zealand provided a medical team in response to the dengue outbreak last year, helping to treat patients, manage workloads and provide relief for exhausted local staff. This team will continue the great work and relationships built during that time.”
The doctors and nurses will be largely concentrated in the hospital emergency department – with some local public health assistance provided as well.
New Zealand and Australia are aware that health agencies face a huge increase in demand in a crisis.
When asked about the health situation, Clinical Leader Chris Denny said “It is important it is to bring in staff to give local health professionals the support they need.”