The Ministry of Health is calling on all Honiara residents involved in arson, rioting, looting to please stop immediately as continuation of such activities will further affect health services with its already out-stretched resources.

Currently health is operating below its potential. All Honiara city clinics closed thereby diverting huge number of emergency and non -emergency cases including multiple cases of injuries incurred from the rioting to the NRH.

As of today, only one and a half day of rioting and looting, NRH emergency department is already feeling the impact with disruptions to doctors and nurses shifts at NRH, due to difficulties with pickups and drop offs. Closure of fuel stations, let alone hike in price fuel this morning are all significantly affecting health logistics and operations which are critical towards continued provision of health services in the capital.

Critical life-saving medicines and non- reusable medical equipment are rapidly declining at the emergency department and replenishment that should have been easily done are encountering delays with road blocks and traffic. Delays by minutes and hours with moving these important medical items to the NRH from the National Medial Store at Ranadi is already putting many lives at risk. With most offices closed, we are also struggling to get medical supplies out from our containers at the Ports Authority so to ensure sufficient levels of medicines and other health essentials are available.

Around 300- 400 of our very own newborn and sick babies, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, friends and relatives are lying at the hospital beds, and require to receive their medication on time with constant monitoring by doctors and nurses who must be brought to the hospital on time for their rounds. All these are now being affected by the current situation.

We have also received multiple phone calls for urgent attendance by pregnant mothers, very sick people, elderlies and so forth whom we have to only inform that we will try our very best to reach and get them to the hospital. Some we manage to reach via St John Ambulance and the hospital’s own ambulance, others we can only say we are very sorry and advise them to make their own way to the hospital. Adding to the difficulty to reach the sick people at their homes, our NRH Ambulance vehicle and one St John Ambulance was also stoned adding to fear of our drivers and health workers to travel on these vehicles. The smokes from the buildings are also a health hazard.

We are putting our very own lives and that of our own family members and friends at risk here if we continue like this; therefore; the Ministry of Health is urging people in Honiara to remain at homes and not involve in the current rioting.

Measures have been undertaken to address matters outlined however, it means we are operating much below our potential to serve you and the needs of our people or in other words offering what we only can due to the disturbance rather than what we are able to actually offer, which is our greatest concern.

To see someone suffering that could have been treated better if not for the riots is the worst situation that our medical and health staff do not want to encounter.

Health encourage all parents and guardians, communities and churches to come out in numbers and support efforts to put an end to this. Sooner the better.

Let’s all work together to stop all this. Your cooperation and efforts are truly appreciated as it means less pressure on our already stretched out resources.

Source: MHMS Media