News Release

Personal Protective Equipment Arrives in French Polynesia

Latter-day Saint Charities partners with Project Hope to bolster PPE supplies 

As the country was dealing with the pandemic in 2021 causing more than 500 deaths in just two months, the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needed by health care workers in French Polynesia was in very short supply. 

Knowing this, staff and volunteers at Latter-day Saint Charities, the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, began trying to obtain large quantities of PPE so they could be sent to places around the world to aid in the fight.

Serious disruptions in supply chains, however, led to lengthy delays in obtaining the proper materials. In addition, global shipping capabilities were stretched to the breaking point. Fortunately, the pandemic case loads began to drop and today the country has come out of quarantine and life is slowly returning to normal.

Latter-day Saint Charities managers pressed ahead and were able to get enough materials to send a container to French Polynesia which arrived in Pape’ete in February 2022. 

Manea Tuahu, the Director of Humanitarian Aid for the Church in French Polynesia, explained: “Latter-day Saint Charities has a long-standing humanitarian partnership with Project Hope. Working together, we were able to provide 88,000 surgical masks, 44,000 respiratory protection masks, 66,000 gloves, 11,000 protective gowns, 11,000 protective visors, and 1,980 protective glasses.”

The arrival of this equipment was made possible thanks to good coordination between the Church staff and the Ministries of Health and Finance. It was also discussed during the meeting between Edouard Fritch, president of French Polynesia, and Elder K. Brett Nattress from the Church’s Area Presidency, during his visit in December 2021. 

Representatives of different government agencies along with Linda Tematua, Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Health, at the handover ceremony with Elder Frederic Riemer and Manea Tuahu. French Polynesia, March 20222022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Linda Tematua, Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Health offered her thanks.

“We will be able to use all this equipment in our health service all over our territory. We appreciate this initiative and your commitment to making it happen. If there was another word above thank you, I would have used it, so thank you, thank you!”

Sandrine Lot, the director of the national pharmacy supply, said, “We are grateful for all your donations. This equipment will be used to strengthen our strategic stock in all of our hospitals and care centres. This will help us be better prepared for any future health crisis.”

Elder Frédéric Riemer, the leader of the Church in French Polynesia, offered his thoughts.

“For us, humanitarian aid has two aspects: a temporal part which consists, as today, in providing support of resources and equipment to bring comfort. And a spiritual part where God asks us to love Him and to love our neighbours. And when we see people in need we have this mission to intervene and be able, within our capacity, to relieve and help those who are suffering. This is what we strive to do.”

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