The Niue Foou Hospital Isolation Ward and Covid Response Laboratory was officially opened yesterday morning.
The programme began with welcoming remarks given by the Director for the health department Dr. Waimanu Pulu with Reverend Kennedy Tukutama leading the blessings for the day.
In his speech, Minister of Social Services Hon. Sauni Tongatule said that the government is confident to say that with the opening of two significant facilities they have done everything they can to better prepare Niue for covid-19.
“We have come a long way from preparing to isolate patients in hospital to where we are now we a purposely built isolation facility. Not just for Covid but for any other infectious disease outbreak that may occur in Niue. We watch our countries around the world battle with Covid cases which immense strain on our healthcare facilities and healthcare workers. But today we can confidently say that as a government and as a country we have done everything that we can to assure that our people have the best protection that we offer to live with Covid-19,” says Hon. Tongatule.
The Isolation Ward was funded by the Asian Development Bank and the equipment was donated and funded by other agencies including the government of Japan.
Premier Hon. Dalton Tagelagi also had a few remarks before the blessing and cutting of the kapihi.
“This building cost us $500,000 New Zealand Dollars. I thank the contractors and I apologise to the board if I am heavy handed by pushing through with this building. As you know we were given a certain time frame in order to utilise this fund. I always followed up and checked on this building every week and every month and here it is and I thank everyone who contributed for this great work,” says the Premier.
After his remarks, the Premier officially opened the Isolation Ward and unveiled the Plaque.
The Isolation Ward was dedicated to the memory of the former Niue Foou Hospital manager Mrs. Colleen Figo Misa Kulatea-Ioane who passed away in October last year.
Figo’s husband Charles and her parents Lofa and Misa Kanui Kulatea were there to witness the special occasion.
There are two separate sides to the ward, one side is for the patients needing hospitalisation and care.
And the other side is the acute intensive care unit for patients on respirators. This part of the unit is designed so that patients can be easily moved for medivac to NZ as per the government’s protocols for the care of Covid cases on the island.
The Covid Response Laboratory was officially opened by the Minister of Health and Social Services Hon. Sauni Tongatule.
The lab is located on the South Western side of the hospital grounds where the Covid drive through testing is done.
The opening of these two facilities is the biggest step yet for the government in its plans to open up borders and return to pre-covid times planned for October this year, when there will be no restrictions on travellers and tourists to Niue.