Despite facing challenges over the years to establish an improved health facility at Wagina, a Gilbertese settlement in South Choiseul, Choiseul Province, the Ministry of Health is not losing sight of the health needs there and remains steadfastly committed to address the situation.
At the national level, funding in millions secured and committed for the construction of Wagina health facility, tender processes to contract construction company underway and this week a team from the National Ministry of Health together with Choiseul provincial health teams deployed to Wagina to identify site for the construction of the new facility.
Once completed the facility will be an Area Health Centre level 1. Meaning improved and expanded range of health services for the people there without the need to travel to Gizo hospital for a good number of medical services that often forces people to travel long distances, for many hours and at times through bad weather to Gizo.
Several sites have been discussed with the Wagina community, health committee members, along with site visits. Important considerations of ease of access for all persons such as laboring women, people with disabilities and children including their safety guided the assessment of the site.
An ideal site, right at the center of two villages, Arariki and Kuktin which was previously used for a clinic that has now been demolished, meets the criteria for suitable location of a health facility and is discussions for its use for the new Wagina Area Health Centre has commenced will continue.
Several other proposed sites assessed fall short of meeting a only few of the important considerations as highlighted above, however, discussions around these will also continue until all parties, the community and the Ministry of health are happy and satisfied.
A great show of support by the community through their health committee chairman who in his brief remarks assured the inspection team of the community’s support to all health initiatives in the village, is highly appreciated by health.
The Ministry of Health is aware of the struggles and difficulties in accessing nearby health services by the people of Wagina and assured that with the current strong cooperation by the community and health authorities, including the Choiseul provincial government and provincial health teams, the matter should be resolved in the not so distant future.
In every support received to enable health progress its progams and projects for the betterment of the health of Solomon Islanders, the Ministry of Health greatly appreciative. As such a big thank you to World Bank for funding support to health that has enabled the visit, assessment and community discussions in Wagina.