On Sunday 9th April 2023, officers of the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF)-Australian Federal Police (AFP) Policing Partnership Program (RAPPP) and Solomons’ International Assistance Force (SIAF), which includes Australian Defence Force (ADF) and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel, visited the National Referral Hospital (NRH) Paediatric and Post-Natal Wards in Honiara to spread some Easter cheer to ill and recovering children and their families who were unable to celebrate Easter at home.
“Hospitals and illness can be scary for children and their parents and guardians. The opportunity to visit the hospital and spend time together was heart-warming and a reminder of how precious time with family can be,”
NRH is the largest hospital in Solomon Islands with over 300 beds. The hospital, which also has close alliances with Australia, sees the vast majority of all medical cases in Solomon Islands. More than 6,000 babies (or 40% of all births in Solomon Islands) are born at the NRH every year and luckily for the visiting RAPPP and SIAF officers, they were able to meet six of the recently born babies.
RAPPP and SIAF officers spent time with sick children and their families, presenting them with gifts including toys, colouring books and Easter chocolates. More importantly, the visiting officers sat with and spoke to the kids and showed them support and encouragement during this difficult time.
“Hospitals and illness can be scary for children and their parents and guardians. The opportunity to visit the hospital and spend time together was heart-warming and a reminder of how precious time with family can be,” AFP Protective Service Officer, Erin Hunter, said.
The visiting officers also met with the NRH nurses and doctors and gifted them with their own Easter chocolates.
AFP Acting Inspector, Evan Long, thanked NRH staff who worked throughout the Easter weekend.
“It’s important to recognise and acknowledge the hard working and dedicated medical staff at NRH who are working over Easter to look after others in need. The children here are requiring constant medical care after suffering horrific injuries or severe illness. Without the nurses and doctors at NRH, there would not be anywhere for sick children to receive the help they need to recover,” Acting Inspector Long said.
The AFP and its joint security partners continues to support Solomon Islands in all facets of the community including policing, healthcare, infrastructure and education.