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First international medical team set up in Fiji for emergency response around the region

The Pacific's first international medical team has been set up in Fiji to respond to emergencies around the region.

The team, partly funded by New Zealand, has its own hospital and can be deployed to treat up to 100 people a day.

Every year the Pacific grapples with serious emergencies - now there's more help at the ready.

The World Health Organisation has helped set up the team providing support and training.

The 20 strong group includes four doctors, 11 nurses and a pharmacist.

"We are able to provide medical assistance various types of medical assistance up to 100 patients a day FMAT will be able to do this within 24-72 hours within Fiji and within the Pacific Island countries," says Vimal Vikash Deo, Emergency Team Co-ordinator.

The mobile field hospital includes power, water and all the things needed for triage and emergency care.

New Zealand, through its aid programme, is funding nearly $1 million over three years towards the team.

"The pacific is prone to disasters, cyclones, volcanoes and health emergencies so strengthening the capacity of countries to deal with major medical emergencies is really important," says Jonathan Kings, of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Climate change means more intense and destructive cyclones are on the cards.

The emergency team is now one of 25 that have been set up worldwide.

While the region struggles to cope with unpredictable natural disasters, the emergency team is at least something it can count on.


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New Zealand has invested close to $1 million towards the team. Source: 1 NEWS