The National Medical Store (NMS) of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services is one of the key departments of health, in fact, it is one of the health departments whose service directly links to the preservation of health and the saving of lives.
All medical drugs and consumables for treatment and care of sick patients across the country and for use by medical workers are initially stored at the NMS before being transported to the National Referral Hospital and other health facilities in Honiara and Guadalcanal province.
For other provinces, the supplies are either shipped or flown via domestic flights to second-level medical stores, which are then distributed to health facilities.
Year in and out, thousands of tonnes and cubic meters of drugs and consumables come through the NMS. In the boxes, they are continuously being stacked on top of another along the towering shelves as high as more than 7 meters. Once requests for their dispatch come through, the team at the store will then have to bring down these boxes for loading onto the vehicles.
The task of moving the boxes to and from the vehicles and up and down the shelves cannot be simply done by the staff themselves, it requires machinery to do the task more swiftly and safely.
As such, the Ministry of Health through the NMS is grateful to the Government of Australia for providing a new caterpillar brand indoor forklift to the NMS.
In handing over the forklift, Australian High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands His Excellency Dr. Lachlan Strahan acknowledged the important role that the team at NMS continuously performs on daily basis.
Australian High Commissioner Dr Lachlan Strahan said, “The team at the National Medical Store plays such a critical role in protecting the health of the people of Solomon Islands, distributing essential medicines around Honiara and the provinces. This forklift will help them get that job done more efficiently. Australia will continue to support a healthy Solomon Islands.”
He concluded that Australia remains committed and dedicated to supporting the health sector of the Solomon Islands in areas where assistance is needed.
Receiving the forklift, Mr. Timmy Manea, Director of the National Pharmacy Services Division, thanked the Government of Australia for acknowledging the work of NMS.
“We are humbled indeed for the recognition rendered towards our work at NMS, Your Excellency. Your words of acknowledgment are truly appreciated from our hearts”,
“Moreover, the support is timely as our over 20 years old forklift is now lying idle requiring repairs due to intense utilization during the course of our COVID-19 response in the past months as well as over the years. Therefore, this new forklift handed today will move straight into operations as we have a backlog of boxes that needs proper placement within the NMS. Thank you indeed”, Stated Mr. Manea.