Meeting the Need

March 21, 2023

Kiribati nurses celebrate the delivery of medical equipment and supplies coordinated by Take My Hands

4700 kilometres north, northeast of Aotearoa is Kiribati. For over two years, our partner charity, Take My Hands, has been coordinating the delivery of medical equipment to Kiribati to meet the need for improved healthcare. 

Kiribati is a nation of 33 islands spread over 3.5 million square kilometres of ocean. That makes it challenging to get medical equipment and staff to the islands. As well as being increasingly vulnerable to storm surges and coastal flooding caused by climate change, Kiribati is seeing rising numbers of diseases such as pneumonia, hepatitis, skin infections and diabetes. 

Take My Hands (TMH) rescues usable medical equipment and resources no longer needed by NZ hospitals and health providers. In many cases, this equipment would end up in landfill. TMH matches what is collected with lists of needed equipment and supplies provided by health organisations in the Asia Pacific Region. Then TMH works with warehousing, transport and logistic partners to collate and transport that equipment so it can be used where it’s needed most.

Speaking about a recent delivery, Mireta Noere from Kiribati’s Ministry of Health and Medical Services said,

“The sea container was filled with mobility equipment, medical consumables, wheelchairs, examination beds and more! Donations were well-targeted to provide much-needed and prioritised equipment for clinical specialists at the national hospital.”

The equipment is used at Tungaru Central Hospital and health clinics on Tarawa Island where the capital of Kiribati is located. TMH has also sent furniture and equipment for the nurses' training station as the Kiribati health team looks to support further training for their nursing staff. 

Kiribati nurses with furniture delivered by Take My Hands.

So far, two containers have made their way to support doctors and nurses to deliver healthcare to the people of Kiribati. There has also been a shipment via the NZ Airforce

“We delivered the equipment to the Whenuapai Airbase on a rainy afternoon and were met by a really lovely, but very formal, officer. The equipment was transferred into an airforce van and taken to the plane. We actually saw the plane take off on its way to Kiribati not that long after!  Pretty cool!”, says TMH’s Managing Trustee,  Janette Searle

It’s not just the equipment that is of value to the community. The sea container that the medical equipment arrived in has also been repurposed. It is now being used for storage and as a workshop space for the hospital team in Kiribati.

Words and images supplied by Take My Hands

Support Take My Hands with your 1%

Help Take My Hands to transport around 416 kg of much-needed medical equipment to our Pacific island neighbours with just 1% of your annual income. For the average Kiwi, that's only $10 per week. Support Take My Hands with your 1%.

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