USAID Boosts Technical Capacity of Frontline Workers in Fiji

SUVA – U.S. Ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga and Tuvalu Joseph Cella visited the Colonial War Memorial (CWM) Hospital today to meet with the participants of a training organized by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) an implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC) to help Fijian medical technicians and doctors operate the 30 ventilators donated by the U.S. government.
“These ventilators, along with the other U.S. government development assistance in the region, represent our strong commitment as Pacific neighbors, allies, and partners to overcome COVID-19. I am pleased that we are providing training to make the best use of the donated ventilators. We look forward to a more prosperous and healthy future for all,” Ambassador Cella said.

On August 19, Ambassador Cella formally handed over a total of 50 brand-new, state-of-the-art ventilators to Fiji, Kiribati, and Nauru in response to President Trump’s direction to ship ventilators to assist partners and allies in the Pacific islands, Asia, and around the world to fight COVID-19. The 30 for Fiji will be used in hospitals in the central, western, and northern divisions to boost efforts to prevent and mitigate the spread of the disease in communities throughout Fiji.

The ventilators, manufactured in the United States, employ lifesaving, state-of-the-art, in-demand technology. Ventilators, highly specialized medical equipment, are used in intensive care units to support individuals whose lungs are not working adequately to receive oxygen. In addition to the ventilators, USAID is funding a tailored package of support that includes clinical training for the frontline health workers to safely use and maintain the ventilators.

The ventilators build on the U.S. government’s $24.2 million investment to help Pacific Islands countries, to support risk communications, the prevention and control of infectious diseases in health facilities, logistics, coordination efforts, and other activities to address this unprecedented global health crisis.

For decades, the United States has been the world’s largest provider of bilateral assistance in health. Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested over $5.21 billion in assistance to the Pacific Islands. Over the past decade, the United States has invested more than $620 million for health in the Pacific Islands.

For more information on the U.S. global response to COVID-19, please visit:
https://www.state.gov/coronavirus or https://www.usaid.gov/coronavirus