With ongoing efforts to decentralize COVID-19 readiness to the provinces and especially to those along the Western Border, The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) last week deployed its Surveillance team to Choiseul Province where they conducted a weeklong training on Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures.
The training gathered a total of 120 health workers, police, provincial administration support staff, immigration, education, forestry, tourism, protection and NDOC who are all engaged in the province’s COVID-19 preparedness and response operations.
In opening the training, Choiseul Province Health Director William Timba said that the Provincial Health Executive and team are very delighted to receive the training. “This has been an urgent matter for us especially when Choiseul province has been declared an emergency zone following increasing reports of COVID-19 cases in Papua New Guinea and one positive COVID-19 case reported in Bougainville which is just across the border. This is also the first IPC and PPE training that we’ve had for our province thus we are very pleased indeed”.
Mr. Timba explained that as such the training is very important not only for the province but for the country as a whole. “Entry of COVID-19 into Choiseul province is an entry into Solomon Islands and more importantly, while work is ongoing to prevent the virus from entering Choiseul, it is equally important that our frontline personals are well capacitated and equipped with the necessary means to protect themselves and their colleagues whilst discharging their duties”.
“With this I would like to thank the National Ministry of Health and Medical Services for responding to our request for this training late last month. I know the processes involved in preparing deployments of staff is sometimes tedious but we are thankful that we can finally have this training”, stated Mr. Timba.
The Choiseul Provincial Health Director encouraged participants to fully utilized knowledge and skills gained in PPE and IPC measures and wished all of them well as they return to their respective duties to continue ensuring the prevention and containment of any possible entry of COVID-19 into Choiseul Province.
The training content includes, basic concepts and principles of infection control, isolation precautions, PPE donning and doffing as well as practical sessions on IPC. Rolly Viga from MHMS Surveillance unit facilitated the training.