The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) remains grateful to the Government of Australia for its intervention to assist the Ministry with its ongoing efforts to replenish its stocks of medical drugs and consumables while its main annual order is due to arrive May to July 2023.
Stock levels of certain essential drugs and consumables have been low in the past months and despite stock ups, efforts to replenish provincial stock levels including high consumption and rate of usage by end users have depleted stocks at the National Medical Store.
Timely replenishment of these essential medical drugs and consumables has been hindered due to multiple factors. These include slow delivery by suppliers, international shipping delays, and MHMS financial constraints and internal procurement and payment processes to fulfill, debt repayment to vendors and distribution challenges which includes reluctance of domestic ships to load medical supplies for the provinces have all contributed to the delays with replenishments of essential medical drugs and consumables at the NMS and across health facilities.
As part of the overall efforts of the ministry to address the shortages and stock outs, the Ministry of Health has reached out to Australia for support to fill in the gaps. Following subsequent discussions, Australia has agreed to provide 3 to 4 months supply of out of stock of essential drugs and consumables while the annual order for 2023 – 2024 starts to arrive in May 2023.
The first consignment arrived by air this week and contains 27 types of medicines and 5 consumables. Additional shipments will be delivered as they become available,
In receiving the first consignment of essential medical supplies Tuesday this week, Mrs Pauline McNeil, Health Permanent Secretary expressed sincere appreciation to the government of Australia stating that their support will greatly contribute to the Ministry’s ongoing efforts to replenish and improve stock levels at the NMS and thereby our health facilities. “The replenishment cannot come at a better time and clearly the efforts by the Australian Government demonstrate to the Solomon Island Public that Australia and MHMS is working in partnership to respond to the current situation such as this and will continue to do so”, said Mrs. McNeil.
Handing over the items, Mika Kontiainen, Counsellor Human Development, Australian High Commission, said that Australia recognizes the importance of maintaining adequate stock levels and the challenges faced by the Ministry therefore have agreed to support the provision of these essential medical supplies.
“Australia does not usually supply medicines, this is a national government responsibility, but when the need is great, as it is here, we will step in to assist our neighbours”, said Mr. Kontiainen