24 Oct 2009

NZ medical help to Samoa winding down

11:43 am on 24 October 2009

The medical help New Zealand has provided to Samoa following the devastating tsunami is winding down.

The New Zealand Health Minister Tony Ryall says care of patients affected by the tsunami is now largely being handled by Samoan health services and aid agencies.

At the peak of its response to the crisis New Zealand had more than 30 health professionals in Samoa providing wound care, infection control and counselling for trauma and grief.

One GP, two wound care nurses and a small number of trauma counsellors will remain in Samoa until next week.

But Mr Ryall says in the coming months New Zealand will provide further support with respiratory physicians to help patients who breathed in seawater, microbiologists for water sample-testing and grief counsellors.