TC Winston

1,700+ patients treated by Australian medical team

The combined AusMAT/Fijian teams treated a total of 1,768 people in the evacuation centres, villages and settlements within the cyclone affected sub-divisions of Rakiraki, Ba, Ovalau and Tailevu. The final Australian medical assistance teams (AusMAT) returned to Australia earlier this week. This followed a rapid deployment to Fiji to respond to the urgent health needs […]

Australian Government

March 17, 2016 9:23 am

The combined AusMAT/Fijian teams treated a total of 1,768 people in the evacuation centres, villages and settlements within the cyclone affected sub-divisions of Rakiraki, Ba, Ovalau and Tailevu.

The final Australian medical assistance teams (AusMAT) returned to Australia earlier this week. This followed a rapid deployment to Fiji to respond to the urgent health needs of the Fijian people in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Winston.

The Alpha team rakiraki
The Alpha AusMAT team in Rakiraki. Source: Australian High Commission.

The Fijian Minister for Health and Medical Services, the Hon Jone Usamate, thanked Australia for the critical assistance provided in the immediate aftermath of the cyclone.

The experienced AusMAT teams, comprising doctors, nurses, paramedics, logisticians, a pharmacist and allied health staff, worked effectively alongside local Fijian Health Teams to provide primary health care to affected communities.

This was the first time a joint, mobile deployment of an AusMAT team has been used. This new approach has established a valuable model for future humanitarian responses.

Upon departure of the AusMAT teams, Australia was pleased to gift FJD 23,000 worth of medicine to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

A spokesperson from the Australian High Commission said that this will assist with the ongoing health needs of those affected by the cyclone.

The medicines include pain relief, oral rehydration, and antibiotics to manage a range of infections and communicable diseases, and will leave a lasting contribution to the health of Fijians, long after the departure of the AusMAT teams.

Australia has a long history of engagement with the health sector in Fiji and has worked in close partnership with the sector through its bilateral aid program for the last ten years.

The deployment of the AusMAT teams were part of Australia’s broader FJD $23 million package of humanitarian assistance provided to Fiji following the devastating impact of Cyclone Winston.

The Australian Government will continue to work with the Government of Fiji to ensure the recovery and rehabilitation of affected communities.

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