Posted by : Posted on : 03-Mar-2020

The need for a replacement workshop at the NRH for the manufacture of prosthetic limbs.

Two recent happenings have prompted this further letter in trying to get donor support for a 20 foot metal container, converted into a workshop, gifted and freighted to the National Referral Hospital (NRH) in Honiara to be used as a replacement workshop that could then be used by existing trained technicians in making prosthetic limbs.

The medical superintendent at the NRH, Dr. John Hue, has expressed his keen interest in obtaining such a converted container.

In the last few days the visit of the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, James Marape, to the Solomon Islands highlighted the strong and friendly ties between the two Melanesian neighbours.   The visit also cemented business relationships and prospects for increased trade and cooperation.

Prime Minister Marape also said his government would contribute K40 m towards the needs of the Solomon Islands in hosting the 2023 Pacific Game

During the visit it was disclosed that there are already 42 PNG business linked operators in the Solomon Islands.

Given the extreme generosity of the PNG Government’s cash offer and the fact that PNG linked businesses are trading in the Solomons, I wonder whether it would be possible for the SIG through the Minister of Health to ask whether the Papua New Guinea government could donate a converted container.

Alternatively, whether one of the existing PNG business operators in the Solomon Islands could acquire a converted container in PNG to ship their goods and then, once unloaded, gift the container to the NRH.

A second happening that led to this piece is the fact that in recent days I have had correspondence from a lady that excels in aiding those with disability in several countries.   Her good work and the information she shared, served to remind me that there are many less fortunate in life and the need to try and help is important.

In 1998 the then Prime Minister in the Solomon Islands instructed me to go to Singapore and inspect two 40 ft containers aboard a container vessel in transit to the Solomon Islands with suspected illicit cargo.

In Singapore with help from the local Commissioner of Police and a team of officers from the Singapore Police Force, the two containers were offloaded from the vessel then at the container port and the contents inspected by myself.

There was nothing inside the two containers that had caused the initial concerns and later the containers were re-loaded and the vessel sailed for Honiara.

Once they reached Honiara, the two containers were transported to Rove and occupied a space between two rows of police building.  They were still there, unused, when I left the Solomons in July 1999.

In those two containers are still at Rove or moved to other sites in Honiara and not being used, it occurs to me that one of the containers, if still in good condition, could be given to the NRH and made suitable as a workshop.

I do hope that what I have written will prompt some early assistance for the NRH.  

300 crutches soon to be delivered with the kind help of the SFA will go a long way to providing walking aids for patients and ex-patients of the NRH that have undergone surgery and had a leg amputated, but there is a much greater need for prosthetic limb manufacture to aid the less mobile in society.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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