Cyclone Winston

Cyclone Winston, the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere, left a trail of devastation as it swept across Fiji this weekend, with wind gusts reaching 202 mph. At least 43 people died in the storm, with many more injured, and thousands homeless or in cramped shelters.

Impact and Recovery

  • Ripping across the island of Fiji with winds in excess of 200 miles an hour, the cyclone left a trail of devastation, leaving at least 43 people dead and thousands homeless.
  • Direct Relief’s pre-positioned typhoon module was deployed to some of the most affected areas. This was followed by the assisted deployment of two medical teams and the arrival of Direct Relief’s 24 pallets — a 10-ton shipment of specifically requested emergency medicines and medical supplies.

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Direct Relief’s Response

Working with volunteer medical teams and the Fiji Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Services Centre of the Ministry of Health, Direct Relief’s emergency personnel are in Fiji  to deliver and assist with the allocation of medicines and supplies to hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout the islands.

Fijian authorities have requested large quantities of medicines, IV solutions, and emergency medical modules that Direct Relief began delivering last week to help hospitals and health facilities extend care in the emergency’s aftermath. The supplies were transported from Direct Relief’s warehouse by FedEx, free-of-charge, through the company’s recently announced global giving platform.

Caring for patients in fijiAdditional antibiotics, pain relief medications, IV solutions, and wound care supplies from Direct Relief have been hand-carried by Reach Out WorldWide, Mammoth Medical Missions, and the Mission at Natuvu Creek. Each group has been approved by the Fijian government to assist people in the heavily-affected areas of Taveuni, Lautoka, and Buca Bay.

Cyclone Winston DamageA larger shipment left on Friday 2/26 with more than 15,000 pounds of humanitarian medical aid. This includes two emergency medical modules filled with medicines most needed after a disaster, prescription medicines to treat a variety of chronic and acute conditions, IV solutions, surgical supplies, and wound care items specifically requested by Fiji’s Chief Pharmacist.

Direct Relief will continue to monitor the situation closely, and will provide updates as the response effort evolves.

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Health worker Reuben Chipelesa of Nkhunga Health Centre in Malawi wears donated PPE from the Covid-19 Action Fund for Africa. (Photo courtesy of Homeline Media)

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