Should there be a community outbreak of COVID-19 in the country; the National Referral Hospital will not be able to cope with rapid increase of COVID-19 infected persons should they flock the outpatient.
There are overwhelming evidences of even well advanced hospitals and health systems around the world including neighbouring pacific island countries, that have succumbed to the devastatingly high number of COVID-19 infected people seeking medical attention at their hospital’s out patient.
The management and staff of NRH are well aware of this fact and therefore the hospital is joining in on the current efforts to roll out the COVID-19 vaccines in Honiara and parts of Guadalcanal to support the provincial teams who are already rolling out the vaccines.
The decision is based on the simple fact that COVID-19 vaccines can prevent people from getting severely ill to the point that they need to be admitted to the hospital and worst still die from COVID-19.
As such, over 40 plus NRH workers from the various departments of the hospital are currently undergoing a three days training around all necessary procedures and processes involved for the preparation, storage, administration of the vaccine including registration and entry of data.
Dr George Malefoasi Chief Executive Officer of NRH explained that with the current level of vaccination coverage of only 14.3 percent of vaccine eligible population having fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with two doses, it is critical that the hospital also provide some additional man -power and resources to bring the vaccines to the people, in their communities.
“Getting more of our people vaccinated is better for our hospital as there will not be much pressure on our limited resources in the event of a community transmission”,
“ The tents at the car park space in front of the eye centre will be used as a vaccination centre while our outreach teams will be moving along with health promotion teams led by Dr Jones Ghabu our Consultant Physician and Head of Internal Medicines as they roll out awareness around communities in Honiara”, said Dr Malefoasi.
He explained that with the engagement of the 50 plus NRH workers, health care services at the hospital will not be affected. “Most in these group are nurses designated for COVID- 19 response team from the hospital beside the normal hospital service. Along with doctors the vaccination team will conduct data registry whilst the nurses will administer the vaccines and conduct post vaccination monitoring. Most of them were also engaged previously with vaccination at the Central Field Hospital” and quarantine screening services.
Dr Malefoasi issued a stern warning to all who are yet to get vaccinated to come forward to get their vaccination done. “COVID-19 entry and community transmission remains a real possibility and therefore people’s health and lives are still at great risk with the level and rate of vaccine uptake. NRH although we will work to our very best and with the resources we have to save you or your loved one from dying of COVID-19 in the event of a community transmission, it cannot be guaranteed”.