Strong Wind Warning Postpones Lau Trip

“The next FEMAT deployment is for Southern Lau would leave on Friday. A decision regarding the trip will be made on Monday.”
12 Jan 2020 11:46
Strong Wind Warning Postpones Lau Trip
The Government vessel MV Veivueti at the Government Jetty in Walu Bay on January 11, 2020. Photo: Maika Bolatiki

The strong wind warning that is now in force for all Fiji waters has forced the postponement of the Government assessment team’s trip to the Southern Lau group of islands.

This was confirmed to Island Beat by the Minister for Health and Medical Services, Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete yesterday.

A Fiji Emergency Medical Assistance Team (FEMAT), he said was supposed to be part of the assessment team.

In a release after the FEMAT returned from Kadavu, he said: “The next FEMAT deployment is for Southern Lau would leave on Friday. A decision regarding the trip will be made on Monday.”

A MOH release said that a 23-member team left for Kadavu last Friday on board the Government medical boat MV Veivueti and attended to the health needs of the affected population while the support staff attended to health facility repairs at Kavala and Vunisea.

For the Southern Lau trip, Dr Waqainabete said that a 10- member team would be part of the assessment group.

During the week-long deployment to Kadavu, FEMAT managed to conduct 154 patient consultations, seven surgeries (three major and four minor), two medivacs and five cases were brought to Suva for further care.

The FEMAT deployed to Kadavu were divided into two teams with one team operating within Vunisea Hospital and the other was operating onboard the MV Veivueti berthed at Kavala Bay.

A strong focus of the deployment was on public health interventions and public health risk mitigation through community visits, awareness and education.

Environmental Health Officers in the team inspected villages and communities and also conducted disease surveillance, spraying and disinfection.

They also inspected food outlets for food safety. The team conducted assessments on water quality and distributed 56 WASH Kits, 260 hand washing soaps and 1007 purification tablets to affected communities.

Nutritional assessments were also undertaken for vulnerable children as well as for adults to ensure that food and nutritional security is intact for the people of Kadavu.

A team of carpenters had also been dispatched to conduct minor repairs to the roofing of the health facilities in Vunisea and at Kavala Health Centre that had sustained damage. FEMAT has included Empower Pacific counsellors in its team for psychological and mental health support.

A total of 22 counselling cases were provided with dignity kits also distributed by counsellors.

Dr Waqainabete, in acknowledging NDMO, Government Shipping and partner agencies said that FEMAT would continuously strive to improve its emergency and disaster response.

“It was a great achievement to have successfully deployed for the first time and serve the people of Fiji,” he said.

Edited by Percy Kean


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