29 March 2020
Hospitals made from shipping containers could help tackle COVID-19
Writing as a Freelance journalist in the Guglielmo Mangiapane publication three days ago, Josephine Moulds reported how health systems around the world are now struggling to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.
Ms Moulds said
“Architects have designed intensive care units built inside shipping containers.”
“These mobile hospitals could help ease pressure on health systems.”
An Italian design company has teamed up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to create prefabricated intensive care units (ICUs), to deal with escalating numbers of coronavirus patients around the world.
Coronavirus patients with access to hospital equipment, in particular ICU beds, have a much greater chance of survival
Carlo Ratti Associati and the MIT Senseable City Lab are looking to address this growing need with ICUs built inside shipping containers, which can be joined together to create mobile field hospitals. They have teamed up with engineering firms, logistic experts and medical equipment suppliers, as part of a non-profit effort, to create the Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments, or CURA. These are designed to be as quick as a tent to put up, but as safe as a hospital with “biocontainment” – a series of safety practices to prevent the spread of disease.
The structure is quick to assemble and disassemble. Because it is made of shipping containers, it can be moved from epicentre to epicentre by road, rail and ship, within countries and from city to city around the world.
Once people are admitted to hospital, coronavirus patients require intensive and lengthy treatment; meaning beds are tied up for a number of weeks.
The non-profit effort behind CURA involves a number of international partners with a range of expertise media.
By sharing this news to readers on Linkedin, the Solomon Islands media and by re-publishing Ms Mould’s story on my website, I would hope those backing CURA with their non-profit efforts might urgently consider gifting a container modified as an Intensive Care Unit to the Solomon Islands National Referral Hospital (NRH) where there is an immediate need for an ICU but all the more urgent given the Solomon Islands is faced with the encroachment of the deadly infectious virus penetrating its borders.
29 March 2020
Health safety measures in place at the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI)
A report I sighted today said the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) has brought in a health safety measure to ensure those visiting the bank are not suffering from a fever that could give rise to the concern the visitor had coronavirus.
From tomorrow (Monday) all the following rules will be in place.
“All visitors (customers, clients, consultants, etc.) including staff shall go through a mandatory body temperature screening outside of the building before entering the main door. Visitors or customers who have failed their temperature screening tests shall be denied entry/access into the building.
All inbound external customers or consultants shall be prohibited from entering the building unless they have satisfied the minimum health requirements set down by the MHMS and have duly completed their 14 days of isolation requirement.
All bilateral face-to-face meetings with domestic stakeholders shall be through a virtual platform until such time the WHO announces a complete eradication of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“All Exchange Control Applications, Currency Requisition Forms, SIG Payment advice for Local and External Creditors, Small Business Finance Guarantee Scheme Applications, or any other applications or forms of similar nature for assessment, must be submitted to CBSI electronically or through electronic means or via an online platform.”
Similar body temperature screening controls are in place in Thailand as preventative measures against coronavirus and enforced at the entrance to Supermarkets, at hospitals and at many other buildings where the public seek to enter, including banks.
Additional preventative controls are in place that requires users of public transport such as subway trains and the Bangkok Transport System to wear face masks when travelling.
29 March 2020
Working together in the face of the COVID 19 threat
This weekend brought good news that one of the three most recent suspected cases sent for testing in Australia returned negative,
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services still awaits the results of three other reported suspect cases sent overseas for testing.
With the suspension of all commercial flights and the enforced quarantining of the most recent incoming travellers, the Ministry of Health continues to monitor the health of those most recent arrivals, to check for any symptoms of the virus.
In respect of the government’s Preparedness and Response Plans, the Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) and Solomon Power. Solomon Islands Electricity Authority (SIEA) have both reportedly funded SBD$5 million dollars surplus each to the government towards the fight against Covid -19
This weekend also brought the news that the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF) has confirmed to provide financial support to members as part of its contributions towards measures to counter the COVID-19.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has said the different forms of assistance will include a sum of $5,000 to be made available to members under the age of 50 years, who are temporarily laid off and or repatriated home due to the effects of Covid-19
It is understood that “Members whose balances are below $5,000 are to be paid 50% of their balances.”
“Members who are aged 50 years and above to withdraw up to 20% of their contributions should they wish to or else they can elect to withdraw in full,”
The Prime Minister has explained the application of member support will be for a 3 months period effective 1st April 2020 to 30th June 2020.
Last week Prime Minister Sogavare revealed his government was implementing fiscal measures to ensure financial resources would be available to counter the coronavirus pandemic and the government would support local businesses during both the emergency period and the recovery phase of coronavirus global threat.
The PM was reported to have said, “We cannot be certain how long the pandemic will continue to threaten our country, but be rest assured that the Government will do everything in its power to safeguard our nation and people.”
“The government was also implementing cost cutting measures and putting together budgetary discipline measures to free up the much needed financial resources to boost the capability of the government to strategically to protect the country’s borders and to deal effectively with any outbreaks,” Mr. Sogavare reportedly said.
29 March 2019
The Covid 19 threat to the Solomon Islands puts the spotlight on the government to ensure an effective and well resourced health care service
In the light of the potential threat to the Solomon Islands from coronavirus the government needs to ensure effective and well resourced public health measures to prevent infection and contagion, and implement well-targeted policies to support health care systems and workers and protect the incomes of vulnerable social groups and businesses a virus outbreak.
The Solomon Islands has been spared so far from the dreaded and unseen virus infection now spreading through many countries and causes substantial deaths.
The measures so far introduced at home to prevent the intrusion of coronavirus, coupled with the testing and quarantine requirements have been credible and effective.
Coronavirus first occurred in Wuhan in China in November 2019 and its global spread has been swift, dramatic and devastating even in those countries being well equipped in terms of health facilities and health resources.
The Solomon Islands is not so lucky to have the health facilities considered as necessary to treat those that might become seriously ill from catching the virus and needing intensive medical care over a lengthy period.
The plain message therefore should be for the Solomon Islands government to work, urgently, towards improving health care, health facilities, health care systems and providing the equipment and resources the health service is lacking.
An example, if any is needed, is the National Referral Hospital is without an Intensive Care Unit and is only now creating an Isolation Unit in response to the Covid 19 threat.
28 March 2020
Tigoa Nursing Home lacking maintenance, electricity, a water supply and basic furniture.
A member of the nursing staff at theTogoa Nursing Home in Renbel Province has written to the Solomon Start newspaper describing the accommodation still being used after many years since being posted to the rural health facility.
The writer has said rainwater is used for drinking and there is no electricity and no furniture such as tables and chairs.
The correspondent explains that a new Area Hospital has been built and handed over to the Province but there is no doctor at the hospital.
In the letter to the newspaper the writer has said the village community is assisted by doctors from Bintan Mining SI Limited and the company has already provided a clinic at Lavagu in the province.
A west Rennell elder has called for the Ministry of Health & Medical Services and the Provincial Government of Renbel to seriously look into providing better accommodation for nurses and posting a resident doctor at the capital Tigoa..