The National Referral Hospital (NRH) has today received a sum of 29, 584 N95 facial masks today donated by the Australia Society of Anesthetists (ASA) for use in COVID-19 operations as well as delivery of normal health services.
The donation was made possible through professional connection of the Head of Anesthetic Department at the National Referral Hospital Dr Kaeni Agiomea with a member of the Australia Society of Anesthetists (ASA) Dr Rob McDougall, a Pediatric Anesthetist at the Royal Melbourne Children’s Hospital. Dr McDougall notified Dr Agiomea of a give-away of N95 masks by the government of State of Victoria, Australia to ASA.
The NRH then submitted formal request to the president of ASA Overseas Development and Education Committee (ODEC), Dr Chris Bowden, who upon approval of the request collaborated with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and with assistance from Dr McDougall the items were then shipped to Honiara.
Upon receiving the donated items, Chief Executive Officer of NRH Dr George Malefoasi thanked Dr Chris Bowen and Dr Rob McDougall of the ASA for their generosity in donating the huge quantity of N95 masks. “ The donation made will go a long way into ensuring that NRH staff continues to discharge their duties both in COVID-19 operations and other health services in a safe manner”.
“I would also like to thank the Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Dr Chris Bowen and his colleagues Dr. McDougall for your assistance in shipping the consignment of N95 masks Australia to Honiara. NRH greatly value your support”, stated Dr. Malefoasi.
Dr Malefoasi said that the masks will be prepositioned and ready for use when conducting anesthetics and operating on COVID-19 patients or patients with other infection diseases. “NRH will also consult sister hospitals in the provinces to discuss any needs for the N95 masks so that we also maintain and enhance capabilities in the provinces to safely perform medical procedures with infectious disease patients”.
The donation made by ASA is not the first. In 2012 they supported the NRH Anesthetic Department with a donation of 13 hand held life box pulse oximeters (which are used to monitor oxygen levels of patients undergoing anesthesia and surgery) and Information and Technology equipment for educational purposes. Over the past 4 years they had continued to provide financial assistance of AUD 2,500 per annum for training of Anesthetic Registrars in preparation for formal university postgraduate studies.
In 2017 ASA had also organized with Royal Australian College of Surgeons to donate difficult airway management equipment and training manikins for the NRH anesthetic department that was worth around 100,000 SBD.
With COVID-19, in November 2020 the ASA also donated 10 hand held life box oximeters for operating theatre to support preparations for any COVID-19 related medical operations required, with a monetary value of 16,000 SBD.