The World Bank Mission team is currently in country from its previous mission early this year and last year to provide technical support on its multi-million dollar project under the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MOFT), which is managed and implemented by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) through its Project Management Unit (PMU).
Since the project commenced in 2021 it has made significant contributions to the country’s fight against COVID-19. Now the health project aims to strengthen the health system through; upgrade of the national medical store’s storage capacity, office extension and renovation. Construction of a four beds isolation unit at the Good Samaritan Hospital, construction of 4 beds isolation unit and renovations at the Helena Goldie Hospital, Munda, Western Province. Renovation of Atoifi Hospital, in Malaita Hospital. Renovation of isolation unit at Nila Area Health Center, Shortlands, Western Province, and installation of incinerators for Good Samaritan Hospital, Tulagi Hospital, Noro Area Health Center, and Kiluufi.
Therefore, the objectives of this current mission are; to review progress towards achievement of the Project Development Objective and project implementation, including discussions on management of fiduciary, environmental and social aspects of the project. Review and revise the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms of the project. Support the progress pf civil works activities in line with the project’s infrastructure strategy. Review the PASA workplan and assist government officials to progress agreed deliverables. The mission will also participate at a primary health care workshop in collaboration with MHMS and agree with Government on key actions and next steps.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Health Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Pauline McNeil acknowledged the ongoing support provided by the World Bank Health Team since the inception of the project in 2021 until now. The project came about as a result of the pandemic and while the soft component of the project has been delivered including PPEs, Covid vaccines and supporting the National Deployment Vaccination Strategy rollout implementation rollout, the hard part of the project which includes infrastructure investment is now being implemented. The Health Secretary highlighted that “while the hard component of the project is slow coming, the project also must ensure that the requirements for these infrastructure investments must comply with WB operational procedures. With the cordial partnership that the MHMS has with the World Bank, we are determined that we will complete the finish line”.
World Bank Solomon Islands Health Specialist, Wayne Irava said the project is about to enter its final year of implementation. “This joint MHMS-World Bank implementation support mission provides an opportunity to review progress thus far and chart concrete next steps and timeline for completing project activities”.