Following launch of the Chinese made Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine roll out program, last week Friday, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has again provided further assistance of 150,000 USD (Approx. 1.2m in SBD) towards the vaccination roll out and COVID-19 operations and logistics.
The handing over was formalized with the signing of the transfer document yesterday afternoon by the PRC’s Ambassador to Solomon Islands Mr Li Ming and Health Minister Honourable Dr Culwick Togamana.
In his brief remarks, PRC Ambassador Mr Li Ming expressed sincere pleasure in handing over of the funds to health.
“It is a pleasure indeed for us to provide this funding support to assist health in its ongoing COVID-19 operations which includes vaccination roll out and hope that the additional funds will further boost efforts to safeguard the health and safety of the people of Solomon Islands during this global pandemic period”,
The Ambassador also reiterated message from China’s President Xi Jinping when addressing the Global Health Summit that China will provide additional 3 billion US dollars aid over the next three years to support COVID-19 response and economic recovery for developing countries, provide more vaccines, and promote fair and equitable distribution of vaccine, ”stated Ambassador Li.
Mr Li also announced at the handing over event that building of the COVID-19 isolation ward at the National Referral Hospital funded by the government of China is near completion.
Responding to the Ambassador Health Minister Honourable Dr Culwick Togamana expressed gratitude and deep appreciation for the generosity and care displayed by the government of China.
“My ministry is very grateful, filled with gratitude and sincere appreciation towards the government and people of China for the continuous support rendered towards health efforts against COVID-19 pandemic including COVID-19 vaccination”, stated Dr Togamana.
Dr Togamana explained that there remains tremendous work to be done both in COVID-19 ongoing operations and vaccination roll out, thus the funds will be allocated to meet operations and logistical costs to ensure that health continues to perform and provide these important tasks and services and protect the country from COVID-19 community transmission, worst case scenario.
“I wish to also sincerely thank the Chinese community in Solomon Islands for offering volunteers to support the roll out of Sinopharm at the Central Field Hospital since for ease of communication and conveying of instructions to the members of the Chinese community in Solomon Islands who are and will be coming to receive their vaccine jabs”, added the Minister.
Chinese community also donated cartons of bottle water including other necessary items to the Central Field Hospital.