The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) has reached another milestone in its ongoing COVID-19 preparedness and response with the finalization of the its first National COVID-19 Clinical Management Guidelines (NCCMG).
This followed an intensive three days’ workshop conducted by the MHMS and the National Referral Hospital last week with participation of clinical team leaders and public health experts who deliberated on recent scientific evidence related to management of patients with COVID-19 to develop the guidelines.
These comprehensive guidelines specify how clinicians and health care workers can manage and care for COVID-19 patients at different levels such as peripheral clinics and provincial and national hospitals. The guidelines include recommendations and practices related to screening, triage, testing, and isolation and policy related to discharge for mild, moderate, severe and critical COVID-19 infections both for children and adult patients.
The guidelines also include recommendations for critical care pathways and enable the health workers to ensure proper referral for the patients who require so.
Closing the workshop last week Friday, Under Secretary Health Care, Dr Gregory Jilini highlighted that the guide will gear towards work effectiveness and safety when caring for COVID-19 patients. “Today marks another milestone in health efforts to prepare and respond to the COVID-19 threat as our relevant health and medical workers will now be able to effectively and safely manage and care for actual COVID-19 patients with the use of these guidelines”.
Dr Jilini also explained that the development of the guide is timely. “Currently, there is no reported case of COVID-19 in Solomon Islands, but this is the time for our health workers to be prepared and trained for use of these guidelines. These guidelines will be constantly updated as new scientific evidence emerges for management of COVID-19”, stated Dr Jilini.
Dr Jilini highlighted that the compilation of the guide would not have been possible without combined efforts, skills and talent of the country’s top clinicians and the public health workers. “I thank each and every one of you for your dedication and commitment towards the completion of these guidelines. I commend your combined efforts and cooperation in the development and finalization of this important document”.
Dr Jilini also acknowledged the technical support from Dr Christine Bishop, WHO Advisor and MHMS international staff Dr Yogesh Choudhri, Advisor, Health Emergencies and IHR, towards the development of the clinical guideline.
The next step is to deliver trainings for clinicians and health workers across the country as part of ongoing efforts of health to strengthen provincial COVID-19 preparedness and response across the country.