Seychelles gets second batch of medical supplies from India | 08 June 2020
By Elsie Pointe
A second consignment of medical supplies, worth about R1.2 million, from the Indian government was officially handed over to the department of health in a ceremony yesterday.
Similar to the first consignment from India in April, these medical supplies have been donated to Seychelles on a grant basis.
Honouring the request made by Seychelles’ health authorities, the shipment includes 500kg of essential medicines for the treatments of diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
The Indian government has also provided Seychelles with two air evacuation pods, developed by the Indian Naval Aircraft Yard for the safe evacuation of COVID-19 patients from remote areas.
The medical supplies reached our shores onboard Indian Navy Ship (INS) Kesari as part of Mission SAGAR, India’s initiative to work together with and assist its neighbours in the Indian Ocean.
Prior to coming to Seychelles, INS Kesari had delivered essential medicines to Madagascar, Comoros, Maldives and its last port of call was Mauritius.
It was the Indian high commissioner, General Dalbir Singh Suhag, who handed over the consignment to secretary of state for Health, Ambassador Marie-Pierre Lloyd.
The handover ceremony was witnessed by the secretary of state for Foreign Affairs and Blue Economy, Ambassador Barry Faure, and chief executive of the Health Care Agency Dr Danny Louange.
The ceremony was conducted on the dock, with minimal interactions between INS Kesari’s commanding officer and crew, and the officials on the ground.
According to Dr Louange, these medical supplies will be distributed to various health centres across the country and estimated to last the Health Care Agency around three months.
“These medicines are important for us, especially now that it is difficult to procure from our normal suppliers due to the increased costs of medicine and freight, as well as the restrictions on movements and closure of borders that have made it challenging for us,” he explained.
Dr Louange noted that Seychelles’s initial request for assistance was much more than the 500kg of supplies received, but INS Kesari could only transport a limited amount of supplies to the five Indian Ocean countries.
On her part, SS Lloyd welcomed the grant from India, highlighting the fact that India and Seychelles share a long-lasting friendship and bond.
She further acknowledged India’s commitment to help Seychelles achieve its development goals.
General Suhag noted that health has been the main focus of the Indian government’s Development Partnership Assistance to Seychelles since health is considered as the foundation to economic and social development in any country.
India’s first consignment of medical goods to Seychelles was on April 15 when Air India flew in 4 tonnes of essential medicines including hydroxychloroquine tablets, used for treating COVID-19.