Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), Community Based Rehabilitation Division (CBR) held a three days consultation workshop on the Solomon Islands Rehabilitation Strategic Plan 2022-231 and Solomon Islands National Disability Inclusive Development Policy 2023-2031 last week in Honiara.
Participants includes Provincial Health Directors, Provincial Community Based Rehabilitation and Disability Coordinators and the China Medical Team (CMT), acupuncture specialist and rehabilitation therapists.
The consultation aimed to discuss and formulate implementation plan for the Solomon Islands National Disability Inclusive Development Policy 2023-2031 and the Solomon Islands Rehabilitation Strategic Plan 2022-2031.
Dr. Nemia Bainivalu, Deputy Secretary Health Improvement (DSHI), Ministry of Health and Medical Services in his keynote address at the start of the workshop highlighted that there is huge unmet need for rehabilitation in lowand middle-income countries like Solomon Islands where access to quality rehabilitation services is often limited.
“We have many people with disabilities who are unable to fully participate in their community level activities and the country’s development aspirations due to their disabilities and challenges faced such as discrimination, social exclusions, low quality of life etc. Multiple factors are at play causing this which includes shortages of skilled rehabilitation professionals, inadequate infrastructure and equipment and lack of funding resources”.
“Recognizing the situation, the government through the Ministry of Health developed the Solomon Islands Rehabilitation Strategic Plan 2022-231 and Solomon Islands National Disability Inclusive Development Policy 2023-2031 which was endorsed by cabinet and launched last year”, said Dr. Bainivalu.
“Today we are gathered here to formulate a framework of activities with their time lines and budget to implement this plan under the guidance of the policy to better improve quality of life of our people with disabilities and ensure that they also contribute to the development of their families, communities and the country.
He told participants that their position and role are very significant part in the leadership and implementation of these frameworks towards driving rehabilitation and disability development in the country.
Dr. Nemia acknowledged and thanked all stakeholders who have contributed to the development of the policy and strategic plan stating that the support received has enabled progression of efforts to address issues affecting people with disabilities.
“In conclusion, let us all recommit ourselves to the principles of inclusivity, equity, social justice, and change as we strive to build a more prosperous and inclusive society for all, including people with disabilities”, said Dr. Bainivalu.
At the end of the 3 days consultation workshop a draft implementation plan is being formulated for endorsement by the Ministry of Health’s Senior Executive Management before actual implementation.