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Wednesday 19 July 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Education, National


Hundreds of first aid kits for Cooks schools
Dental Health Specialist Dr Seema Kumar and oral health therapist Marina Papatua inspect a child’s teeth during the opening of the new children’s cubicle at the dental clinic in Tupapa in April and where a memorandum of understanding for oral health projects with BSP was also signed. Photo: LOSIRENE LACANIVALU / 23042112

Bank of South Pacific (BSP) has made 200 first aid kits available for distribution to schools in Rarotonga and Pa Enua.

Te Marae Ora, Ministry of Health will be distributing first aid kits to schools in Rarotonga, the outer islands and other health facilities in the coming weeks through the support of BSP.

Today, the oral health team will be handing over its first set of first aid kits to St Joseph’s School.

St Joseph’s principal Savenaca Tukitoba said the first aid kits would benefit the students and staff.

“When involved in accidents at school we have the kit to assist everyone. Also we take it with us when taking children out during school hours on educational purposes,” he said.

Acting director oral health Dr Kirianu Nio said as part of the three year memorandum of understanding, BSP would collaborate with TMO to support the delivery of agreed oral health initiatives to improve the oral health and wellbeing of children and wider communities in the Cook Islands.

Dr Nio said the objective is to ensure oral health programmes are delivered successfully in a sustainable manner, and further to integrate the oral health and wellbeing programmes into existing models of oral health services/care delivered by TMO to children and adolescents.  

“Te Marae Ora, on behalf of the Minister and Secretary of Health, would like to express their gratitude towards the private sector support and collaboration established with Bank of the South Pacific (BSP), Cook Islands.

“The collaborative project for 2023 is distribution of first aid kits to schools in Rarotonga and Pa Enua and TMO health facilities. Schools are where children spend most of their time learning, playing, and making friends. Hence, schools are also a place where children, especially the younger ones, are vulnerable to injuries and illness.

“This makes first aid care a requirement for teachers and school staff. Teachers and other school personnel can provide prompt first aid care in the absence of health professionals.

“First aid kits are designed to manage all types of injuries including basic cuts, scrapes and burns.  Accidents are unexpected; being prepared can reduce panic and provide the necessary aid.”

Dr Nio said TMO endeavours to provide better health programmes for children and adolescents with its partners and collaborative arrangements on an ongoing basis.