Right place, right time – Kiwi medical team helps Niue with first Covid cases 

By Aroha Awarau

A group of Pasifika medical professionals that travelled from Aotearoa to Niue for Covid-19 support happened to be there when the island nation reported its first positive case in March.  

The Medical Assistance “PACMAT” Team from the Pasifika Medical Association has been training frontline and healthcare staff in Niue as well as offering practical advice around Covid-19 response processes and procedures.  

Team leader Renee Mose appeared on Te Ao Tapatahi and said his team, which included three MIQ nurses and one GP, was in Niue at the right time.  

“While we were there and were in isolation for about 10 days, it was Covid free. We came out of isolation and did some fieldwork for 20 days and they had their first case through the border.  

We worked with Niue’s Department of Health and shared how we were able to manage it in New Zealand. They took it on board and they tailored it to suit them. They were able to manage that case and no other cases came from that border case.” 

Staying in touch

Since the team’s return to Aotearoa two weeks ago, there have been other positive cases reported at Niue’s border. Mose says he continues to be in contact with Niue’s Department of Health to guide its staff.  

During its time in Niue, the medical team held training sessions for the airport, health, immigration, and police staff. The training focused on infection, prevention, and control measures and tutorials on Rapid Antigen Testing and PCR swabs. They also conducted training sessions with teachers in Niue on how to keep students and themselves safe while at school. 

“We were there to provide that reassurance that they will be okay and that information is available to help the country, to understand what Covid is, and if they get Covid, how to manage that safely in the community.”