A nine-member team of Counties Manukau nurses and support crew has arrived in Samoa this week on a 10-day capacity building mission to provide nursing training and clinical support.
Leading the initiative is Counties Manukau Health’s Pacific Health Development Programme Manager, Leilani Jackson.
This is part of New Zealand’s Samoa Health Partnership Programme (SHPP), a programme that is “country-driven which means that Samoa identifies and determines the support required for the use of allocated funding provided through the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT),” says Ms Jackson.
“In this instance, we are going to work alongside nurses in their hospitals, providing on-the-job mentoring and coaching in the areas of vaccination and immunisation, ” she says.
“We have a contingent made up of Counties Manukau Health nurses, as well as nurses from Southseas, Auckland City Hospital and private practices who are all fluent in Samoan. We will be based in eight district hospitals on the main islands of Upolu and Savai’i.”
The SHPP is just one programme managed within the Pacific region by the Pacific Health Development team.
The New Zealand Medical Treatment Scheme (NZMTS) scheme is also funded by MFAT and managed by the Pacific Health Development team.
The programme involves three key components including the Overseas Referral Scheme (ORS) which provides patients with specialist medical treatment not available in their country, Visiting Health Specialists (VHS) who provide medical treatment in the country and Strengthening In-Country Capacity (SCC) providing tailored support to strengthen priority health identified by the country.
“Our commitment is to provide partnership support to the Pacific Island countries through MFAT funded programmes, where there has been identified need and building capability that will enable better health care services within Pacific countries,” says Ms Jackson.