Work on the new Manuopo Area Health Centre (AHC) is nearing completion with around 4000 people within its catchment area to benefit from the new facility and the services to be provided once it opens.
Based on assessment by the Ministry of Health’s Infrastructure Officer last week, 95 percent of the job is done with only 5 percent remaining which includes finishing touches such as tiling, vanishing with few remaining plumbing tasks for the facility and staff house.
The project has encountered delays due to the poor road access to the construction site, frequent bad weather that often-halted work for weeks and months, COVID-19 pandemic that restricted movements etc.
Nevertheless, the soon to be open AHC will improve health services including work safety of the team of nurses serving in Manuopo once it opens.
Manuopo clinic senior nurse said that the current clinic is too old and poses great risks to health and life of both staff and patient. “The deteriorating status of the old clinic structure has also impacted the types of service that we can offer for instance the birthing room has now become unsafe for mothers to deliver their babies so very soon we will not be able to accommodate birthing mothers”.
He said the new facility will ensure safety for both workers and patients and the facility space and equipment that will be brought into the facility will expand health care services and improve existing ones.
As per the National Health Role Delineation Policy, the Manuopo AHC is an AHC level 1 (one) facility that will provide general and obstetric inpatient services and anesthetic services, adults, ketamine and local for minor surgical procedures. It will be the first level in the system where HIV counselling, testing and treatment is offered as well as in-patient services for communicable diseases such as severe malaria. The Ministry will also look into providing advanced ophthalmology services and visiting dental services for Manuopo AHC.
The AHC will also be the first level in the health system where either a resident or visiting Medical Officer shall prescribe antihypertensive, statin and hypoglycemic drugs according to a patient’s assessed cardiovascular risk including common cancer screening programmes. Community based rehabilitation and environmental health services will also be provided.
The team from the Ministry deployed to Manuopo including the contractor met with the Manuopo Health Committee providing updates and responding to some issues including demolition of the old health facility and other final requirements before official opening of the new AHC scheduled to happen soon.
With the implementation of the Role Delineation Policy, the Ministry of Health with support from partners have opened AHCs level 1 for Avuavu and Aola in Guadalcanal province and Afio AHC level 2 in Malaita province in 2022. This year preparations and construction is underway for another new AHC in Tukutaunga also in Temotu province, Wagina in Choiseul and Konide in Isabel province.
Construction of new Rural Health Clinics will also be carried out this year for Gounataea communities in Malaita, Leona in the Western Province and Dedeu in Isabel.