Providing health care in rural and remote parts of the Solomon Islands is not without challenges, but the staff of Kirakira Hospital and Kaonasugu clinic in North Makira, with support of the Australian Government, are taking the challenge head-on.
"We see many patients a day some through our hospital and clinics with all manner of ailments, from headaches, diabetes, and pregnancy complications, right through to life-threatening infections, said John Tahara, Director of Nursing for Makira Ulawa Province.
"Fortunately we have well-trained, passionate staff, particularly nurses, that work tirelessly on the front line of health service delivery every day."
"Being so far away from Honiara makes it difficult sometimes to ensure we have all the right medicines and supplies, but with the support of the National Pharmacy Services Division we’ve managed to ensure that we have full coverage of essential supplies most of the time."
The Australian Government in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), supports the provision of essential medical supplies to clinics, such as Kaonasugu, throughout Solomon Islands.
On a recent monitoring visit to Makira, Counsellor of Health, Education and Gender Equality at the Australian High Commission, Ms Melissa Stutsel, took the opportunity to visit the Kirakira Hospital and Kaonasugu clinic to see how Australia’s support is helping the delivery of health services in rural Solomon Islands.
"It is clear that there are challenges for the health system in rural areas over and above those experienced in Honiara," Ms Stutsel said, "but the hard working staff in the clinics I visited do an outstanding job with what they have."
"Having assessed the pharmaceutical stores of two clinics, we found that over 100 per cent of essential medicines are available in the hospital, and over 80 per cent were available in the clinic, which though not perfect, shows that MHMS is making very good progress in this area."
Australia is a long-term supporter of the health system in Solomon Islands, having provided over SBD 460 million in support since 2012.
Press Release: Australian High Commission Office