The Prime Minister's wife, Madame Margaret Philip is leading a series of fundraising drives with other Parliamentarians' wives to raise funds to assist rural clinics with maternal equipment.

A second major fundraising drive is organized for Saturday 25 at Honiara Hotel as Madame Philip calls on members of the public to come forward with donations for a humanitarian purpose.

Many rural clinics around the country lack proper delivery equipment which often results in preventable cases of child mortality.

Already, money raised from a previous fundraising drive has enabled the Parliamentarians' Wives Fund to assist remote clinics in Makira and Wagina in Choiseul Province.

On Thursday May 5, 2011, Madame Margaret Philip, the Australian High Commissioner His Excellency Frank Ingruber and the Member for West Makira, Hon. Dick Ha'amori made the first maternity ward donation to the Aringana clinic in West Makira.

Accompanying the team was Mrs. Ha'amori, the Secretary of the PWF, and Ms. Mia Rimon, Coordinator for the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

A water tank with new delivery kits, rubber gloves, sink, solar light, mattresses and bedding, mesh security wire, sink and locked cupboards for storage were among the donations made by Madame Philip to the clinic.

The community showed their appreciation by preparing a customary feast for Madame and her team and was grateful for the much needed injection of key supplies for women delivering in the clinic.

The Provincial Health Director, Dr. Joyce Maesua, noted that this clinic was in high need of these supplies as there have been maternal deaths and problems stemming from women not being able to deliver in healthy and sanitary conditions at that clinic.

Dr. Maesua welcomed the supplies as it will enable women to deliver with running water available and lights for night deliveries, as well as clean and hygienic bedding for the mother and infants.

Madame Philips and a bipartisan group of wives of Members of Parliament have formed the PWF to assist women in rural areas to have better facilities and supplies for giving birth.

The wives of all members of Parliament are invited to join the Group and to assist expecting mothers in their constituencies.

Many MPs wives, from all political parties, have expressed their interest in joining and more are expected to do so shortly.

Madame Philips recognized the need to improve the conditions for women delivering babies in rural areas, as many clinics, including in her home village of Wagina, are not well equipped to meet the needs of women and their babies.

The second clinic donation took place a week later in Wagina, Choiseul Province. Next clinic donations will take place in Vela la Vela in Western Province and Small Malaita. The PWF plans to provide assistance to rural clinics around the country.

The PWF Executive comprises Mrs Philips, Mrs Tora, Mrs Ha'amori, Mrs Hou and Mrs Tozaka and will be supplying water tanks, solar power for night deliveries, mattresses, sheets, pillows and baby supplies to clinics throughout the country.

The project has the full support of the Minister for Health and Medical Services, the Hon Charles Sigoto, and his senior management team.

During the handover of materials to the clinic in West Makira, Mrs Philip and her Executive thanked the Australian High Commissioner, Mr Frank Ingruber, and the Coordinator of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Country Office in Honiara, Ms Mia Rimon, for their financial and other support and described the project as an important step forward for women living in rural areas.

Source: Press Release, Government Communications Unit