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GSK responds to Tropical Cyclone Winston in Fiji

- Medicines valued at < $350,000 provided to AmeriCares and Direct Relief
- $30,000 provided to Save the Children to deploy specialist team

GSK has responded to the state of emergency declared in Fiji by providing funding and urgent supplies of medicine.

The Pacific islands of Fiji were severely affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston.  At its peak, the cyclone was estimated by the Fiji Met Service to have sustained winds of 230km/h, gusting to 325 km/h making it one of the most severe cyclones ever to hit the South Pacific. In some cases entire villages have been destroyed, leaving tens of thousands of people without food, water, and sanitation services.

“In times of disasters and emergencies it is important to respond quickly to ensure lives are saved and protected from disease outbreaks that often follow.  We partner with humanitarian aid organisations to ensure that medicine donations are appropriate to the needs and of maximum benefit to the people in Fiji,” said Bernadette Murdoch, Head of Corporate Affairs, GSK Australasia.

“We are proud to be one of the pharmaceutical industry’s major donors of medical products supporting disaster relief efforts,” she added.

In response to requests from GSK's preferred emergency response partners AmeriCares and Direct Relief, supplies of Zantac, Augmentin and Ceftin (valued in excess of $350,000) have been dispatched to support recovery efforts.

In addition, GSK's global health programs team have provided $30,000 to Save the Children Australia who are leading the organisation's response to this crisis. Save the Children deployed a team of six specialist staff in the immediate aftermath of the cyclone to support nutrition, logistics, education and communications.

While assisting in the repair of key services, Save the Children will be focusing on meeting the needs of children who are particularly traumatised by the experience.

Funding provided by GSK will support the costs associated with running Child Friendly space for 4 – 6 weeks, in addition to paying to rebuild vital water, sanitation and hygiene facilities at schools.