As follow up from its previous mission last year, another round of mission by the Bank is currently in country to monitor and provide technical support towards the implementation of the multi-million dollar health project funded by the bank through the Ministry of Finance and Treasury and managed and implemented by the Project Management Unit of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
The project which commenced in 2021 aims to bolster COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts as well as strengthen health systems for future outbreaks to improve the quality and accessibility of health care services in country.
This year the project involves a number of priorities which includes:
The project, since its inception, has made significant contributions to the country’s fight against COVID-19 with Personal Protective Equipment procured for health workers and patients, procurement of important accessories for molecular laboratory testings, and technical expertise that provided advise to COVID-19 responses. It provided much needed logistical support in terms of transportation especially sea transport which involved the procurement and distribution of 20 outboard motor engines including 20 ray boats.
Speaking at the commencement of meeting between the World Bank, Project Management Unit of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry’s officials, Mr. Wayne J. Irava, World bank Solomon Islands Health Specialist and mission team lead, highlighted that this mission is the second implementation support mission and the Bank task team is pleased to be in country.
“This is a project where the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Senior Executive Management took strong ownership of the project and devoted time to prepare the project and rapidly establish a project management unit. Implementation of project activities is progressing well and given the experience and lessons learnt over the last year, we anticipate a further expedited implementation towards achievement of the project objectives that were agreed to as per the project”,
Mrs Pauline McNeil, Health Permanent Secretary in welcoming the World Bank mission highlighted its commitment towards the Role Delineation Policy and the recently launched National Health Strategic Plan (NHSP) 2022 – 2031 with the vision of healthy future for all, where by health care and services are delivered more closer to the people to where they live to prevent them from encountering financial hardships and difficulties in accessing health services.
“Moreover, we have learnt from the COVID-19 experiences and lessons learnt exercises, the need to better prepare for future outbreaks of infectious diseases through health system improvement and strengthening with the ultimate aim for the provision of quality care. However, to achieve this requires substantial amount of resources which includes equipment, supplies, HR and finances”, explained Mrs. McNeil.
She said the Ministry looks forward to the mission technical support and advise throughout the mission in country which will be important for effective and efficient implementation of the program as we progress to completion.
The World Bank Mission is in country for two weeks. This week meetings have commenced which will be followed with site visits and team building exercises over the weekend and next week.
More updates from the mission to come.