The National Medical Store (NMS), located along the Ranadi highway, may resemble a typical warehouse; however, it is no ordinary warehouse; it is the central facility in Solomon Islands for all the lifesaving drugs and consumables, including vaccines, stored at their required temperatures, awaiting distribution across the country either to 2nd level medical stores in the provinces or directly to a health facility.
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) this morning signed the National Medical Store Renovation and Office Expansion Project Contract with JED Enterprises.
The National Medical Store Renovation and Office Expansion Project came under the World Bank COVID-19 Emergency Response Project. The project aims to prevent, detect, and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and to strengthen national systems for public health preparedness in the Solomon Islands. Health Permanent Secretary Mrs. Pauline McNeil highlighted that one of the lessons learned during the height of COVID-19 was the inadequate storage capacity of the National Medical Store. “During the emergency, we received much-needed medications, medicines, personal protective equipment, etc. from donors and partners, but the immense amount of additional supplies that flooded the NMS challenged our capacity to store them, and thus, we had to turn to other private warehouses for hire to cater for the influx of medical items with huge costs incurred.”
The implementation of the activities is managed by a Project Management Unit (PMU) within the MHMS. The refurbishment work on the National Medical Store comprises the following key activities: a, office and storage extension; and b, general refurbishment works.
Health Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Pauline McNeil, said at the signing that the National Medical Store, as one of the project components activities under the current World Bank Health Project, is vital to the health system of the country; hence, the quality of its services directly impacts the availability of medical supplies to our people. She also used the signing occasion to highlight that the completion of the project at NMS will make significant contributions towards the implementation of the National Health Strategic Plan (2022-2031), on our infrastructure investment plan but particularly Strategic Objective #2, that health systems and resources meet our needs and are responsibly managed. “Health systems under this objective also cover our health facilities, ensuring that they remain adequate and up to standard to carry out their functions. This will be the case for our medical store once the new works are completed”, said Mrs. McNeil.
Permanent Secretary acknowledged the new partnership with the contractor, JED Enterprises and further acknowledges young entrepreneurs such as Mr David Leong and his team taking up the challenge to deliver the expected outcome for the health sector in the improvement and expansion of the NMS.
Mr. David Leong, JED Enterprises Managing Director, said his team is excited to take up the contract for the National Medical Store Renovation and Office Expansion project.
The Managing Director, Mr. Leong, gave assurance to the ministry that his team would complete a quality project within the given period.
Meanwhile, the Project Management Unit is pleased that this is one of its first major infrastructure sub-projects under the project’s health strengthening component that is ready to kick off. The project team will be fully engaged with the contractor and its other key stakeholders to ensure this NMS is on schedule and successfully delivered up to expectations.