3 Oct 2019

NZ injects funds to improve access to medicines in Polynesia

2:00 pm on 3 October 2019

New Zealand's government is hoping an injection of more then $US5 million will help improve access to essential medicines in Polynesian countries.

Jonathan Kings from MFAT announcing New Zealand's support for the Port Vila National Eye Centre.

MFAT's Jonathan Kings. Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Koroi Hawkins

Jonathan Kings from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the funding over five years would help support Pacific people to live healthier lives.

The funding aims to improve pharmaceutical management capability, implement data management software, and improve essential medicines lists and alignment of medical procurement.

"Essential medicines are a key building block of primary health care, and Polynesian countries currently lack access to the full range necessary for good health outcomes," Mr Kings said.

Mr Kings made the statement during the second Polynesian Health Corridors Dialogue in Auckland.

Heads of health from Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Niue, Tokelau and the Cook Islands have gathered to meet with representatives from the New Zealand health system.

Discussions will centre around cancers, mental health, leadership and governance support.

Because of the Auckland measles outbreak, a session on prevention and response is also being held.

The World Health Organisation is concerned the New Zealand outbreak may transmit to the Pacific Island nations and it has warned travellers to get immunised two weeks prior to travel if unsure of their vaccination status.

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