The Solomon Islands Government and Japan have signed an Exchange of Notes in aid of Gizo Hospital Project.

The signing of the Exchange of Notes and the Grant Agreement between the Solomon Islands Government and the Embassy of Japan's Charge d' Affaires paves the way for the detailed design study of Gizo Hospital Reconstruction Project.

This morning's signing in Honiara is one of Japan's many help towards the rehabilitation of Gizo hospital.

The Japanese Government provides a grant of seventy-two million Japanese Yen, totals to about SBD$6.2 million for the study.

This follows earlier support in assisting the rehabilitation of Gizo hospital wharf, jetty and ramp through its Grassroots and Human Security Grant.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Japanese Charge d' Affaires, Akira Iwanade, said the Japanese Government, through JICA, will carry out the study from February 2009.

He adds that the Japanese Government recognizes that the reconstruction of Gizo hospital is an urgent need for the people of Solomon Islands after the earthquake tsunami that claim lives of many Solomon islanders and damaged hospital.

The project will accommodate a new hospital complex with different medical facilities such as laboratory, Maternity Ward, Male and Female wards, Delivery Department, Operation Department an Administrative Department and various medical equipment.

HE Iwanade said that the main objective of the hospital is to contribute to restore and improve the health infrastructure of the hospital.

"The Japanese Government hopes that the project will further benefit health care system of the country in order to meet the basic needs of the Solomon Islands."

He added that the Japanese Government will continue to work hand in hand with the people of Solomon Islands for the development of Solomon Islands.

In response, government representative the Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. William Haomae, expressed his appreciation on behalf of the SIG for the positive support from the Government of Japan through the rehabilitation of the tsunami affected areas in the Western Province.

"This project will improve the health infrastructure of the Gizo hospital and the health welfare of the people and visitors of the surrounding communities and Western Province at large," he said.

Solomon Times understands that another Exchange of Note for the implementation of the project will be signed towards the middle of this year.