People in villages and communities surrounding Mbita’ama in the northern region of Malaita province have expressed disappointment at the level of service at the Mbita’ama clinic.

The clinic, which serves more than 4,700 people in wards 7 and 8, is stretched in terms of manpower and resources.

According to Chief John Andrew Kiri of Mamafua village most times the clinic is without medicine and basic supplies, which he says is a huge risk for those in the community it serves.

“Imagine women with babies and kids who walk from far distances to come to the clinic expecting to get service, and unfortunately when there is nothing, they have to return home without treatment.

“Medicine like panadol, septrin, and other basic medicine is always in short supply, and this is a concern for us especially with the coronavirus,” Mr Kiri said.

He says that not only is there shortage in medicine, the issue of nurse absenteeism is also another contributing factor which has led to poor health services in the Mbita’ama local clinic.

“In the past nurses who were posted here used housing, water, and sanitation facilities as an excuse, but our community built the facilities for them, but still the issue of absenteeism is ongoing.

“My biggest concern is our children who should get their medical injection or vaccination, and the poor service affects them, those who are lucky complete their vaccination, others have not completed the required vaccination,” Mr Kiri explained.

A senior officer at the ministry of health and medical services say rural clinics such as Mbita’ama are doing their best with the limited resources they have.

“We have many clinics throughout the country, coordinating the delivery of medical supplies is always something we look to improve, but it is a challenge.

“With nurse absenteeism it is important that people talk to the director of nurse in Auki, raise these issues directly and if there is evidence of unexplained absence than it is their job to take necessary actions.”