Solomon Islands first Birthing Centre to enable high quality of birthing services to be provided to mothers and their babies in a modern, safe environment outside of the National Referral Hospital, the ‘Naha Birthing and Urban Centre’ supported by the Australian Government with a flagship of SBD$150 million project ground-breaking ceremony was successfully conducted yesterday.
Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) Minister Dr Culwick Togamana, MHMS officials together with the Australian High Commissioner Lachlan Strahan, the Honiara City Mayor Mr. Eddie Siapu, Naha Clinic representatives, Naha Community representatives and the Solomon Islands Infrastructure Program (SIIP) officers have witnessed the groundbreaking ceremony.
Health Minister Dr Culwick Togamana in his remarks highlighted the ministry has over many years discussed the need to reduce the primary health care load at the NRH, especially in the area of obstetric services which represent 40% of NRH discharges.
“The establishment of this Birthing Centre will be a first for the country and will enable high quality birthing services to be provided to mothers and their babies in a modern, safe environment outside of the National Referral Hospital”, said Dr Togamana.
“This Birthing Centre will have capacity for up to 1500 low risk deliveries per year and this will greatly assist with reducing the workload on the NRH Delivery Wards and the NRH’s over-worked midwifery staff”, Dr Togamana revealed.
He said in addition to providing a quality facility for low-risk deliveries, the new Naha Birthing and Urban Health Centre will provide for the broader Naha Ward community as well, through provision of primary health and tertiary health services for all, in a modern, new facility.
“The new Naha Facility will be the first Urban Health Facility built to meet the requirements of the Ministry’s Role Delineation Policy, which is the major policy initiative of my Ministry aimed at providing quality, affordable health services closer to where people live.
“The Naha Birthing and Urban Health Centre is in fact a major deliverable of the new National Health Strategic Plan 2022-2031 and one that further aligns to the National Health Strategic Plan 2022-2031 vision of “A Healthy Future for All”, explained Dr Togamana.
“For those that don’t know, the Naha Birthing and Urban Health Centre is a gift to the people of Solomon Islands from the Government of Australia in recognition of 40 years of Independence and we very much appreciate this gift. What better gift could we ask for than a gift which will benefit our mothers and their babies”, said Dr Togamana.
He again thanked the Government of Australia and the people of Australia for its ongoing and continued support in strengthening of health services and systems for better health outcomes in Solomon Islands.
“Australia has supported the health sector for many years now. Thank you so much”, said Dr Togamana.
The Minister also acknowledged all the key players in the project; the Solomon Islands Infrastructure Program team, MHMS Officials, Honiara City Council and the Naha Community.
The Minister then humbly call upon Naha community and the people of Honiara to take pride in this facility and to be responsible to take great care of the new facility once it is completed and open for business in providing health services.
The Minister concluded this is a very exciting flagship project for the Solomon Islands DCGA Government in partnership with the Australian Government and he looks forward to witnessing the opening of the new Naha Birthing and Urban Centre once it is completed.