A community outbreak of COVID-19 in the country would be devastating, and the National Referral Hospital (NRH) says it will not be able to cope with a sudden increase of COVID-19 infected persons.

The NRH says that even advanced hospitals and health systems around the world, including neighbouring pacific island countries, have succumbed to the high number of COVID-19 infected people seeking medical attention at their hospital’s out patient.

Because of this, the NRH has been actively supporting the current vaccination drive in Honiara and Guadalcanal. Having high numbers of the population vaccinated will ease the burden at the NRH should there be an outbreak.

Dr George Malefoasi Chief Executive Officer of NRH explained that with the current level of vaccination coverage of only 14.3 percent it is critical that the hospital trains and provides additional manpower and resources to get the vaccines to the people, in their communities.

“Getting more of our people vaccinated is better for our hospital as there will not be much pressure on our limited resources in the event of a community transmission. The tents at the car park space in front of the eye centre will be used as a vaccination centre while our outreach teams will be moving along with health promotion teams led by Dr Jones Ghabu our Consultant Physician and Head of Internal Medicines as they roll out awareness around communities in Honiara”, said Dr Malefoasi.

He explained that with the engagement of the 50 plus NRH workers, health care services at the hospital will not be affected.

“Most in these group are nurses designated for COVID- 19 response team from the hospital beside the normal hospital service. Along with doctors the vaccination team will conduct data registry whilst the nurses will administer the vaccines and conduct post vaccination monitoring. Most of them were also engaged previously with vaccination at the Central Field Hospital and quarantine screening services."

Dr Malefoasi issued a stern warning to all who are yet to get vaccinated to come forward to get their vaccination done. “COVID-19 entry and community transmission remain a real possibility and therefore people’s health and lives are still at great risk with the level and rate of vaccine uptake.”

“NRH will continue to work and do our very best with the resources we have to save you or your loved one from dying of COVID-19 in the event of a community transmission, but it cannot be guaranteed”.

With MHMS Media