Posted by : Posted on : 30-Apr-2020

Solomon Islands:   A promise to upgrade all provincial health centres

It has been reported today, Thursday, that during a recent press conference held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & External Trade (MFAT) in Honiara, it was announced by Dr. Jimmy Rodgers, the Secretary to the Prime Minister, and Mrs. Pauline McNeil, Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Health and Medical Services, that all provincial health centres will be upgraded, though some later than others.

Dr.Rodgers said, “With development partner support to the Ministry of Health Services, facilities are being addressed by our partners so none will be left behind.”

Mrs McNeil added, “Apart from Gizo Hospital in Western province and Kiluufi in Malaita province they (partners) are looking at upgrading and improving other health centres in other provinces and partners for these projects have been identified.”

We are also looking at strengthening the health systems of the provinces that has not been addressed for instance, Central Hospital, Buala Hospital, Hospital in Makira and other provinces.”

“But also, we want to go beyond provincial health centers and go to Area Health Centres (AHC) like Malu’u, Atoifi and other centers.”

So, we taking care of these issues and again thanking our partners for support provided,” she said.

As reported earlier this week, the New Zealand government gave SBD$15m to the SIG to upgrade Gizo and Kilufi hospital to support the country’s response effort to covid-19.

The support letter for that financial assistance was handed over to the Minister for the MFAET, Jeremiah Manele, by Her Excellency Georgina Roberts, New Zealand High Commissioner to Solomon Islands.

Mr. Manele said the SBD$15 million budget would go towards the upgrading of two of the country’s provincial hospitals, the Gizo Hospital in Western Province and the Kilufi Hospital in Malaita Province.

He said the upgrading of both hospitals would include refurbishment and securing an Isolation ward and Quarantine ward in each hospital, upgrading of laboratories in each hospital, procurement of one X-ray machine for Gizo hospital and procurement for one QPCR machine for Gizo.

The promised upgrading of provincial health centres is welcome news and has been long awaited.

Grateful thanks must be extended to the Solomon Island’s development partners that are behind the upgrading projects.

There was no mention by Dr Rodgers or Ms McNiel of plans for the re-building or upgrading of the county’s ageing and largely dilapidated rural health clinics and one must hope the SIG and its development partners will not lose sight of the urgent need to remedy the situation for the benefit of thousands of citizens that have long gone without functioning health clinics in their local communities.

Source:  Island Sun

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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