Posted by : Posted on : 01-Mar-2020

Bank of the South Pacific donates a cheque for $10,000 to the NRH’s Oncology Unit

It was reported yesterday in Honiara that the Country Head of the Bank of the South Pacific, along with Ms Gladys Habu, Miss Solomon Islands and a team from BSB gave a cheque for S10, 000 to Dr Soma, the NRH’s Oncologist, as a donation to the NRH’s cancer unit.

I would like to thank BSP for the very kind donation made towards cancer treatment and care.

On World Cancer Day, a short time ago, Dr Soma gave out some alarming news about the rate of cancer cases occurring in the Solomon Islands.  He told the media that there were now 200 to 300 plus cases of cancer each year at the NRH.

Dr Soma said the main causes of cancer were cervical cancer and breast cancer in women.  Thyroid cancer and cancer of the mouth were also common.

The Solomon Islands is now close to having a population of 700,000 and has significant challenges in trying to address non-communicable diseases, including cancer, and all in the face of significant economic, cultural and general awareness, including health system challenges.

 Weaknesses in the health care system, including the poor state of rural health clinics, lack of resources and the inability of some health care workers to detect cancers, either due to their lack of skills, or lack of diagnostic capabilities, and an overall lack of access to country wide health care, largely due to geographical barriers and the ongoing fragility of the national economy, often leads to delayed diagnosis or lack of cancer treatment.

 The BSP donation will go to the NRH Oncology (Cancer) Unit which was acquired through the very kind and generous support of a medical team from the Canberra Hospital, and funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), about a year ago.

 The team from Canberra consisted of senior haematologist Dr Pati, clinical director of oncology Professor Desmond Yip, oncology pharmacist Beth Hua and clinical nurse consultant Wendy Spencer.

The project to bring greater cancer treatment services to the Solomon Islands began in 2016 when Professor Yip travelled there, funded by the John James Foundation, to assess the extent of cancer services.

Since then a Solomon Islands based doctor visited Canberra to undertake training.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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