Thursday this week, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) received SBD1.2 Million worth of supplies to support current COVID-19 preparedness and response including COVID-19 vaccination roll out and ongoing Tuberculosis program.
With these items, the Ministry’s capability to prepare and respond to COVID-19 is further enhanced, ability to prevent spoilage whilst storing and distributing COVID vaccines across the islands bolstered including effective and efficient implementation of the current national TB program.
In handing over the items, Dr Simon Burggraaf, WHO’s Officer in Charge said that the support is part and parcel of the overall ongoing support of WHO towards the Ministry ‘s COVID-19 preparedness and response including the TB program whilst outlining the content of the supplies.
“The items includes 10 vaccine fridges procured by WHO to support the COVAX vaccine rollout and TB program, so 8 units, 4 of which are powered by solar and another 4 by electricity will be distributed to NRH and the provinces and 2 units is for the TB programme”.
“Other supplies include medical equipment, personal protective equipment, and other medical supplies and consumables to support with COVID-19 preparedness and response plan of the Ministry of Health”, Stated Dr Burggraaf.
He added that WHO is pleased that Solomon Islands is amongst very few countries around the world to have managed to prevent a COVID-19 community transmission situation and this gives even more reason as to why vaccine eligible people should take this as an opportunity and get vaccinated.
Dr Burggraaf assured of continued support from the WHO to the Ministry of Health during this pandemic time not only with COVID-19 preparedness, response, and TB but in all other relevant health sectors to support Solomon Islands in achieving Universal Health Coverage.
Upon receiving the items, Dr Nemia Bainivalu, Incident Controller of the National Health Emergency Operation Centre (NHEOC), Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) expressed sincere thanks to WHO.
“Thank you WHO for procurement and successful delivery of the items in the country. Cold Chain remains a critical component of vaccine roll out in the country including for COVID-19 vaccines, therefore these new vaccines fridges more especially the solar powered ones will greatly enable health to deliver in increased quantities COVID-19 vaccines across the dispersed islands that lack electricity and limited storage capacity”.
“ Thank you as well for all other medical supplies delivered to us today as they will continue to help in the overall preparedness and response to the COVID-19 global pandemic including for all other health services”, said Dr Bainivalu.
Dr Henry Kako Director TB and Leprosy of the Ministry of health also thanked WHO for allocating 2 fridges for ongoing national TB program. “The fridges are important for TB testing and the 2 fridges provided by WHO will be distributed to Russell Islands, Central Islands and one in Malaita province. “Thank you WHO and we look forward towards continued support to our TB programmes”, stated Dr Kako.
WHO is not only a very close and long-time partner of health but also a critical one constantly working closely with health to achieve key results in health’s National Health Strategic Plan, which includes improving service coverage and quality, building strong partnerships and setting the foundation for the future.