Two Wellington Free Ambulance paramedics are heading to the Solomon Islands, to train medics and provide much needed equipment.
Vanessa Simpson, an Extended Care Paramedic and Paramedic Benjamin Wylie-Cheer, leave for the Solomon’s on May 12. They will spend 10 days working in the remote area of Gizo, an hour and a half flight from Honiara.
Vanessa went to the Solomon’s last year and helped deliver an ex Wellington Free Ambulance bought by Rotary for the area.
"We are really grateful to the Rotary Club of Petone which is funding our travel costs for a second year. Wellington Free Ambulance is paying our salaries and providing equipment such as lancets used to take blood samples and various other first aid supplies. Collectively this enables us to provide the clinical expertise to help the staff in Gizo to maintain and sustain a high level of first response medic care to their community," says Vanessa.
Vanessa is an Extended Care Paramedic which means she treats patients in their own home and can suture wounds, prescribe pain medications and antibiotic cover.
The pair will also take some basic medical supplies and an Automatic Electronic Defibrilator (AED).
"As well as being personally satisfying to help this community, our skills are needed and we know we are making a difference.
"Gizo is quite remote, there are no direct flights. We will offer a three day refresher medic training course for the people we trained last year and welcome any other hospital staff that would benefit. There is a 60 bed hospital in Gizo and a lot of remote clinics so we have invited nurses from the clinics. We will also and visit one of these clinics for a day or so offering advice and treatment," says Vanessa.
Vanessa lives in Waikanae and Ben lives in Upper Hutt.