Good use in Samoa for unused medical supplies


Surplus medical equipment and supplies from Dunedin are being given a new life in Samoa, thanks to the efforts of retired Dunedin nurse Lesley Dennison (75).
Ms Dennison, who retired in August, worked for 57 years as a nurse and educator, most recently at the Dunedin Hospital skills laboratory – a training space for medical students and nurses administered jointly by the Southern District Health Board and the medical school.
While at the laboratory, she regularly received and stored outdated supplies and equipment.
“I couldn’t bear to throw them away,” she said.
In March last year, a group from the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital at Motootua in Apia, Samoa, visited Dunedin and viewed the materials held by Ms Dennison.
“They said they would love to have it, as they are very short of medical supplies at the hospital.”
Funded by the university, a container load of supplies was sent to Samoa.
Ms Dennison’s collection of medical supplies and equipment continued to grow, especially when Mercy Hospital came on board to donate surplus beds, equipment and instruments. She also liaised with the university’s Pacific Islands research and student support unit.
After her retirement, Ms Dennison took a trip to Samoa and visited the Motootua hospital to ascertain what equipment was most needed.
With a limited health care system available to the Samoan people, and a shortage of general practitioners, most people went straight to hospital with health complaints, adding to the pressure.
“There is obviously a huge need for this equipment over in Samoa.”
With enough equipment and supplies to fill one and a-half containers, she is working on raising the $6000 needed to send it to Samoa. Anyone who is able to help can phone her on 022 158-5288.