Church sends medical equipment and supplies to Fiji, French Polynesia and Papua New Guinea

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through its humanitarian arm and partners recently donated large shipments of tests, medical equipment supplies and personal protective equipment around the Pacific Area. The deliveries will help health officials in several countries and islands deal with the pandemic and meet any other needs.

Fiji

The Church delivered containers of personal protective equipment to the Ministry of Health in Fiji recently, reported the Church’s Pacific Newsroom.

The supplies included masks, gloves, gowns, goggles and eye shields to help protect health care workers dealing with infectious diseases.

The Minister of Health and Medical Services, Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete, thanked the Church for its continuous support in the fight against COVID-19. 

“It is important to acknowledge that a major part of the Ministry’s success in containing the virus was through the generosity of donors, friends and development partners,” he said. “We also acknowledge their assistance in providing wheelchairs and dispensary equipment for remote provinces.”

Elder Paul B. Whippy, an Area Seventy in Fiji, said, “We are grateful for strong partnerships with governments, international organizations, and the host of people around the world contributing to solutions. We thank too the Ministry of Health workers for the wonderful work they do around the clock as they have responded to the pandemic.”

He continued, “And we offer our thanks to the thousands of people whose donations support [the Church’s humanitarian work]. These donations allow us to respond immediately without any delay, and we are grateful for the generosity and trust of all who support these efforts.”

French Polynesia

Global supply chain disruptions and shipping problems led to lengthy delays in getting enough equipment to the islands. 

But the Church pressed forward, and a container of personal protective equipment recently arrived in Papeete, reported the Church’s New Zealand Newsroom.

Arue Tahiti Stake President Manea L. Tuahu, who is also the director of humanitarian aid for the Church in French Polynesia, explained: “[The Church] has a long-standing humanitarian partnership with Project Hope. Working together, we were able to provide 88,000 surgical masks, 44,000 respiratory protection masks, 66,000 gloves, 11,000 protective gowns, 11,000 protective visors, and 1,980 protective glasses.”

Local health authorities said the supplies will allow them to restock hospitals and care centers for any future needs.

Arue Tahiti Stake President Manea L. Tuahu presents the donation of personal protective equipment to Linda Tematua with the Ministry of Health, French Polynesia, March 2022.
Arue Tahiti Stake President Manea L. Tuahu presents the donation of personal protective equipment to Linda Tematua with the Ministry of Health, French Polynesia, March 2022. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Ministry of Health chief of staff Linda Tematua expressed her gratitude: “We will be able to use all this equipment in our health service all over our territory. We appreciate this initiative and your commitment to making it happen. If there was another word above thank you, I would have used it, so thank you, thank you!”

Elder Frédéric Riemer, an Area Seventy in French Polynesia, said: “For us, humanitarian aid has two aspects: a temporal part which consists, as today, in providing support of resources and equipment to bring comfort. And a spiritual part where God asks us to love Him and to love our neighbors. And when we see people in need we have this mission to intervene and be able, within our capacity, to relieve and help those who are suffering. This is what we strive to do.” 

Papua New Guinea

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and partners donated four shipping containers of COVID-19 testing kits and other medical equipment this month to health authorities in Port Moresby and Morobe, reported the Church’s Papua New Guinea Newsroom.

The donation includes 7,500 COVID-19 tests, 40,000 bottles of sanitizer and Personal Protective Equipment.

The donation of sanitizer bottles came about from a partnership with Rotary Club of Boroko and Acco Brands in Sydney, Australia, while the PPE donation was a result of a partnership with US-based Project Hope. 

“We are very grateful for the work being done by government, hospital staff, and many others, to save lives and bless communities,” said Port Moresby Papua New Guinea Stake President Moasope C. McCarthy. “We are in this together and as we follow Jesus Christ’s teaching to love one another and help one another, we can get through this challenging season.”

A forklift driver unloads medical equipment donated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and partners in Papua New Guinea, March 2022.
A forklift driver unloads medical equipment donated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and partners in Papua New Guinea, March 2022. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints