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Porirua health business takes PPE supply into its own hands after delay

The Pacific Health Plus team wearing protective gear sourced from China and Vietnam. Photo / Supplied

Following a delay in delivery of essential personal protective equipment, owners of Pacific Health Plus (PHP) in Cannons Creek, Eastern Porirua, decided to take matters into their own hands.

“During lockdown we realised that we did not have sufficient protective gear for our staff based at our primary healthcare centre, Pacific Health Plus in Porirua,” says John Fiso, chairman of the Fiso Group, which owns Pacific Health Plus.

“Our clinic services very vulnerable communities and many fanau here have underlying conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and respiratory problems. It was our priority to stop the spread of the virus into this community. But how could we effectively do this without the right protective gear, for our staff, but also for patients? That is when we decided we could wait no longer.”

Mr Fiso explains how his team quickly researched and investigated where the best equipment was being manufactured and ordered it ASAP from China and Vietnam.

Hundreds of boxes arrived, and as well as ensuring the staff and patients are safe at Pacific Health Plus, hand sanitiser, masks and gloves are included in care packages Pacific Health Plus is distributing to needy families in Cannons Creek as part of an initiative funded by Pasifika Futures to ensure essential items get to those that need them in the Pacific community.

Items are also being sold online.

“We are keeping the high grade medical masks and shields for the health practice to be prepared in case of another outbreak, and to keep staff and patients safe until a vaccine is developed. We are lucky PHP has had support from providers and it turns out, the best helping hand is the one at the end of your own arm,” says Mr Fiso.

As part of its COVID-19 response with support from the Pacific teams at Capital & Coast District Health Board and the Ministry of Health to best protect its patients and staff, PHP was the first clinic in the area to introduce telemedicine through video outside the premises and distributed care packages to vulnerable families in need of food and essential items during lockdown.

It also worked with Wellington-based, Pasifika artist, Michel Tuffery, to inform the community in ways which relate to them, about best practice hygiene for keeping safe from the spread of COVID-19.

Media release: Spear, Pacific Health Plus (PHP)

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