Wairarapa and Selina Sutherland hospital’s pallet of medical supplies to be wrapped for transporting by PGG Wrightson’s Masterton. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

ELI HILL
eli.hill@age.co.nz

Expired medical supplies from Wairarapa hospitals are being sent to Australia to help treat animals affected by wildfires.

Wairarapa District Health Board communications manager Anna Cardno delivered a pallet load of medical supplies, collected from Wairarapa and Selina Sutherland hospitals, to PGG Wrightson Masterton on Tuesday.

The donation included surgical masks, gloves, hand gels, needles, IV fluids and bandaging, all destined to assist the teams providing relief for and treating the animals affected by the fires.

A qualified veterinary nurse “in a past life”, Cardno found the coverage of the animals suffering extremely hard to watch.

“The sheer numbers being reported – an estimated 500 million animals affected, and that’s not even including some species – it is devastating,” Cardno said.

“We can’t do much. We can do this.”

Cardno’s strong equestrian connections are shared by Selina Sutherland Hospital manager, Cate Tyrer, and they were inspired by New Zealand’s Saddlery Warehouse initiative for the stores to become a collection point for donated supplies.

“We manage our ordering carefully at the hospitals, so as not to run with expired supplies, but we do have a small amount of still-useful stock passed its use-by date that is fine for this purpose,” Cardno said.

Wairarapa Hospital had received accolades from the community on social media for its contribution to the relief effort, but Cardno dodged any tributes.

“It is the very least we can do. Donating it to such a worthy cause, that’s not commendable really, is it? It’s just common sense. And when PGG Wrightson’s stepped in to offer a courier point, it all came together.”

The medical supplies aren’t the only aid travelling from Wairarapa to Australia.

Courtney Stewart, 26, and her sister Casey Duckett-Mount, 23, are sewing pouches for marsupials injured, and/or motherless because of the Australian bushfires.