During the second quarter of this year, the incidence of Covid 19 (Delta variant) infections had increased uncontrollably in Fiji. The already stressed medical system was reaching breaking point.
. In July, a request for aid was received by SSSIO Fiji from local Senior Divisional Medical officers operating in the frontlines from local Health Centres. This request was brought to the attention of the Medical Units of Australia and New Zealand by Professor Rajat Gyaneshwar. On 28 July, a Zone 3 Medical Unit meeting was held by Dr Dinesh Lal (Zone 3 Medical Coordinator) to consider the request when it was concluded that the assistance would be coordinated by Zone 3 and will, at present, be concentrated for Viseisei Sai Health Centre. The medical unit from NZ arranged supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), a cardiac monitor and monetary donations to purchase some requested supplies locally in Fiji. Local procurement was preferred as then the brands were familiar and consignment logistics were easier.
A consignment from the Medical Unit of Australia, containing a supply of PPE, syringes, oxygen flow meters, oxygen regulators and single use oxygen masks including donations made by members in South Australia were air freighted to Fiji on 31 August. They were sourced from local Australian suppliers. The donations were valued approximately $3,250. The transporting of the donations to Fiji was supported by Fiji Airways, C. T. Freight Pty Ltd and several members of the SSSIO Australia Medical Unit. The clearance through Customs in Fiji was assisted by the Ministry of Health in Fiji.