A team of specialist medics from the UK’s Emergency Medical Team arrived in Papua New Guinea yesterday (24 October) in response to an urgent appeal for international assistance.
Papua New Guinea’s health services are under severe pressure from the rapid spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
The team of 10 experts will provide direct clinical care and mentorship to support local health care workers who are battling a sharp surge in cases.
The team members, including 4 NHS doctors and nurses, will be deployed for up to 6 weeks and will work closely with the country’s National Control Centre for COVID-19, National Department for Health, World Health Organisation and other partners.
Minister for the Pacific, Lord Goldsmith said:
Team Leader of the Emergency Medical Team, Pete Sykes said:
The UK Government-funded deployment includes experts in emergency medicine, critical care and logistics and is managed by the British NGO UK Med.
The team arrived in the capital Port Moresby, following a direct request for assistance from the country’s National Pandemic Controller and will focus on capacity building as well as helping to tackle the current surge in cases.
The UK Government say it is committed to working in the Indo-Pacific to address global challenges. This deployment builds on the millions of vaccines the UK has already donated to the region and supports Britain’s close Commonwealth partner, Papua New Guinea.
It is also in addition to the UK’s donation of over £400,000 for vital medical equipment for Papua New Guinea and work through COVAX to provide hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 vaccines to the country.