1 Jul 2009

WHO and SPC up swine flu help to Pacific

3:32 pm on 1 July 2009

The World Health Organisation and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community are moving to help Pacific nations slow the spread of swine flu.

They have started by supporting Fiji's response to the H1N1 influenza pandemic, with financial help from Australia and New Zealand.

During the past two weeks, the WHO has donated 157,000 capsules of Tamiflu to Fiji.

Another 10,000 additional capsules have also been sent to Fiji by the SPC.

The agencies have also provided personal protective equipment for those taking care of the victims.

These include surgical masks, latex examination gloves, aprons and gowns, and alcohol based hand disinfectant.

These donations were made possible with support from the Australian and New Zealand government agencies for international development, and Roche, the manufacturer of Tamiflu.

Fiji is the first Pacific country to have received the masks, but supplies are being shipped to 11 other Pacific Island countries and territories.