The historic ribbon cutting on 22 December 2023 to officially open the brand new Eleoteve Clinic facility at Eleoteve Community in South Vella La Vella Constituency (SVC) has brought joy and Jubilant to constituents as they now have access to a health facility at their doorstep.
The project is funded by the national government through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) programme administered by the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) under the candid leadership of Member of Parliament for SVC, Honourable Fredrick Kologeto.
It was a dream come true and a milestone achievement for Eleoteve community after 30 years of unsuccessful prior planning and discussions since 1993 from previous leadership and committees in anticipation for a clinic establishment.
The new health facility indeed brought great relief for women and children who often walked some 10-20 kilometres to access health services at Kolokolo, Maravari and Vonunu clinics.
Vella La Vella Island formed part of the Western Province and is the second largest island after New Georgia Island. Yet, it has its own challenges when it comes to accessing health services.
But thanks to the leadership and vision of their MP Hon. Kologeto who care so much about the health and future of its people, and with the support of the government through the CDF programme Hon. Kologeto swiftly facilitated the establishment of the clinic, a worthy investment that will benefits Eleoteve community and many surrounding communities now and in many years ahead.
Health is amongst SVC development top priorities since the election of Hon. Koloketo, MP in 2019.
With support from his constituency team and communities, Hon. Kologeto pursued the dream of building rural health clinics in his constituency.
The handover last week was the realization of the (his) vision. A vision to guarantee people’s accessibility to medical services for a healthy community and a healthy future.
It was an eventful day, with glare of excitement and spectacular show of delight from everyone who witnessed the ceremony that categorically inked down in the SVC history manuscript.
The million-dollar facility made up of two admission wards (male and female ward), a pharmacy, clinical sinks and lavatories, a delivery (labour) room for antenatal mothers and a spacious waiting area.
Delivering his keynote address, Deputy Secretary Technical of MRD Hugo Hebala congratulated MP Kologeto for his leadership and wisdom and everyone who contributed to the success of the magnificent health facility.
He said the opening event was a great achievement not only for SVC communities but a great achievement for Western Province and the national government.
“I am aware that the journey through to the accomplishment of this wonderful facility was not easy as there has been a lot of conversation and planning over the past years in anticipation of a clinic. And your perseverance and commitment of not giving up is encouraging. The occasion today is a testament of your commitment and cooperation with your MP.”
Mr Hebala also recognized MP Kologeto for always putting health a priority in his constituency development plan for the accessibility of the vulnerable and the communities.
“Walking long distances to Kolokolo or Vonunu clinics to access health services will be now a thing of the past as this new facility will now serve your community.
“We cannot achieve this but, it is through your working together, cooperation and support that enable us to achieve this historic millstone.
“SVC is one of the unique constituencies in the country, making a significant contribution to the country’s economy through copra production. Therefore, it is very important to support whatever development is happening in our rural communities for the benefit of everyone,” DST Hebala empathized.
Mr Hebala also urged the community to respect the facility and take the responsibility to look after it well for the benefit of everyone and future generations.
Meanwhile, Minister for Health, Western Provincial Government (WPG) Honourable Kenneth George said WPG is happy to be part of such an important infrastructure development.
He said one of the long-term objectives of the current WPG is to improve the health of the people in Western Province.
“The WPG welcome such key developments and will continue to work with the national government in such important project. This clinic will certainly help our rural people to be able to access better health care, be able to come to the clinic with minimum cost.”
Hon. George said accessing proper health care and services is one of the many challenges faced by rural communities but he said the handing over is a milestone achievement for Eleoteve community and nearby villages as they now have a proper health facility at their doorstep.
He also recognized the government especially MRD for the support to this very important project and thanked Hon. Kologeto, MP and his constituency officers for the leadership, commitment and vision in ensuring the project is accomplished.
The health Minister also urged the community to look after the facility and take ownership of it to ensure it serve people within the area in years ahead.
Hon. George assured that the process to register the clinic under the Western Provincial Health Authority is currently underway as taken care of by the WPG, Heath Services.
Hospital Secretary, Western Province Health Service (WPHS) Soraya Pina said it takes a strong leader to strive in order to acquire funding to such infrastructure.
She said WPHS will continue to support the operation of the clinic by providing medicine, necessary equipment and staff.
“The greatest wealth is health,” MP Kologeto quoted a Roman Philosopher and poet Virgil when delivering his brief remarks.
He said without health everything will become meaningless.
“We must stay healthy in order to do our work. Having a healthy body make us work harder to be more successful.”
Hon. Kologeto said he is pleased to invest in the health facility since good health is the foundation to build healthy life, healthy community and a strong economy.
He said as the elected leader of SVC he will continue to render the necessary support to development initiatives in his constituency to benefit everyone.
He then acknowledged communities, contractors, tribes, and other key stakeholders who contributed to the success of the project.
The clinic project also included a three-bedroom staff house which is now in the completion phase.
The Commerce Minister Hon. Kologeto then thanked his constituents for the support and trust they had in him as their MP over the last five years.
In his closing remarks, Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) for SVC Ward 8, Western Provincial Government Hon. Kadiba Alu acknowledged chiefs, community leaders, women, men, youths, tribes, contractors, development partners, people of Eleoteve and surrounding communities, MP Kologeto, national government through MRD, Western Provincial Government, individuals and everyone who contributed in one way or the other towards the success of the project.
He said the project’s success was a testament of true partnership, unity and cooperation effort of all partners.
“This is historic. Indeed, a milestone achievement and a blessing for us,” he said.
Hon. Alu also used the opportunity and urged the people of Eleoteve and surrounding communities to take ownership of the health facility and look after it well for the benefit of everyone.
The event ended with entertainment and feasting.
SVC has invested most of its CDF allocation into major communal infrastructure projects. An investment that will not only benefit a handful of constituents but everyone.
Some of the projects that the constituency also funded with CDF through the years are; Kolokolo clinic; Copra buying and storage centre; a fisheries centre; coconut crushing mill facility; Police Station; wholesale/cooperative society centre; Piggery project, construction of two new police staff houses and a kava processing facility.
These developments are part of the government’s continuous commitment under the leadership of MP Kologeto to decentralize services and bring them closer to rural people.
CDF is a programme of the Solomon Islands Government and is implemented by the 50 constituencies in the country through the MRD purposely to improve the social and economic livelihoods of all Solomon Islanders.
Some of the guests take time to visit inside the new clinic facility for the first time.
Guests and chiefs during the succesful opening ceremony.
Excited women of Eleoteve during the opening program.
– MRD Press