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Jul 16 2020

Norway donates 900 kilos of medical supplies to North Macedonia

Luxembourg, 16 July 2020 - On 13 July 2020, Norway shipped 10 pallets of medical supplies, including facemasks, thermometers and goggles, to support North Macedonia's efforts in tackling COVID-19. The material was purchased and shipped through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) on behalf of Norway. The donation is the result of a military medical cooperation between both nations that started in 2007.

Back in 2007, doctors from North Macedonia and nurses were sent to Norway to be trained by the Norwegian Joint Military Medical Services to function as fully qualified surgical teams. After the training, seven contingents of surgical teams from North Macedonia were deployed to Afghanistan and integrated in the Norwegian-led Provisional Reconstruction Team (PRT). They played a key role in support of the soldiers and officers in the PRT.

In 2012, the Norwegian Minister of Defence donated a complete Role 2 Medical Treatment Facility, fully equipped, to North Macedonia. This enabled North Macedonia to augment the Medical Service capabilities of the Armed Forces.

Norway donates 900 kilos of medical supplies to North Macedonia
NSPA Norwegian Liaison Officer, Major Per Øyvind Berg

The donation also included expendable medical supplies for the hospital, with the understanding that North Macedonia could request these to Norway once the hospital was was used for a real operation and not only for training.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Europe, North Macedonia set up the field hospital donated by Norway in support of the civilian health system in the country. This enabled North Macedonia to double the capacity to treat patients at the Infectious Disease Clinic in Skopje, the main facility designated in the fight against COVID-19 in North Macedonia.

Role II Hospital, North Macedonia

As the field hospital was operational, the Norwegian Ministry of Defence and Joint Military Medical Services decided to release the donation of medical expendables.

"Once we received the list with the supplies that were needed, we turned it over to NSPA for action. Norway has the benefit of having a liaison officer at NSPA, Major Per Øyvind Berg (in the picture). He played an important role in coordinating the buying and quality control of the medical supplies", explained Lieutenant Colonel Egil Daltveit, Defence Attaché of Norway to North Macedonia.

The medical consumables were purchased through the NATO Logistics Stock Exchange (NLSE) and stored at the NSPA Warehouse until they were shipped to North Macedonia by road transport. The supplies arrived to Skopje on 13 July 2020. The donation was accepted by State Secretary at the Defence Ministry of North Macedonia, Dragan Nikolic, during a handover ceremony celebrated upon arrival. "Today's donation yet again affirms the importance of being a NATO member. The donation of the Kingdom of Norway consists of everything needed at this point to handle the coronavirus crisis," Nikolic said.

"The Norwegian Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces are very happy to be able to help a friend and Ally in a time of need. This has been carried out by NSPA in an exemplary fashion, and we are grateful to all who have assisted on your side", assured Lieutenant Colonel Daltveit.

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