Following the end of the Asia Pacific Leaders Conclave on Malaria Elimination 2023, in New Delhi India, Health Minister Hon. Dr Culwick Togamana paid a courtesy visit to the India Minister of State for External Affairs Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh at the India’s Ministry of External Affairs office on Tuesday this week.
During the visit Dr Togamana used the opportunity to thanked the government of India for co-hosting the 2023 Malaria Elimination Conclave. “State Minister this is very significant and strategic platform for the region by which Regional Health Ministers can assemble to share experiences and challenges. This is a rare opportunity for us to regroup, renew our commitments and carefully strategize to efficiently utilise our limited resources and capabilities to achieve the noble cause of eliminating malaria by 2030, so thank you indeed”, said Dr Togamana.
He also acknowledged the Visa waiver for Solomon Islands government officials and diplomats stating that it has enabled ease of travel to India for official engagements.
“State Minister, I would also like to express sincere thank you for India’s kind support in our COVID-19 response efforts. From the 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses supplied to countries world over, Solomon Islands received 50,000 doses as well as thousands of Personal Protective Equipment. A 12 million SBD funding support is in the pipeline for specialized equipment and other areas needing support for which we are also very grateful of. All these demonstrates your country’s commitment towards global health, including the people of Solomon Islands.”, explained Dr. Togamana.
He further stated that the establishment of a permanent Solomon Islands diplomatic office in India will enable swift and smooth implementation of the bilateral cooperation and assistance between Solomon Islands and India and health stands to benefit from this important partnership with the MOU on health cooperation being finalized.
He explained that Solomon Islands looks forward to endorsing, by the both sides, the health cooperation that covers medical supplies and drugs, diagnostics and devices, including strengthening and harmonization of regulatory systems, digital health interventions including telemedicine, health information system and disease surveillance, medical value travel including overseas referrals and specialist attachements.
Dr Togamana also expressed sincere thank you to the state minister for India’s commitment to other sectors as well which includes, India Technical Economic Cooperation Training, Centre of Excellence in Information Technology, Agriculture, International Solar Alliance, and the Pacific Games 2023.
Responding to Dr Togamana, the State Minister, Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh expressed sincere pleasure in the deepening and strengthening of ties between India and Solomon Islands in reference to establishments of diplomatic mission offices in both countries.
“India is very happy that we can further our partnership and friendship through the establishment of our diplomatic offices in our countries. And I am pleased to note good progress has been made with Solomon Islands mission office here”,
“Health Minister, our model for development partnership is unique and based on needs for community development projects for social progress amongst discussions around quick impact projects which we very much acknowledge”, said the State Minister.
He said that India is sometimes referred to as the pharmacy of the world and it is welcoming that we can be able to provide support with medicines and other medical equipment and human resource capacity building once draft MOU for health sector cooperation is finalized and jointly implemented.
We note that this year will be a huge event, the Pacific Games 2023 which will be hosted by Solomon Islands and we look forward to support where we can and the government and people of Solomon Islands the very best as you prepare and implement the organization of the games, come November 2023.
I am indeed honour to have met with you and have this sideline discussions and look forward to more of these meetings and engagements as we continue to deepen our relationship.