Taiwan is committed to continue to share its resources and experience with other donors in strengthening the medical capabilities of Solomon Islands.

The Ambassador of the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Honiara, H.E. George Chan made the statement at the handover ceremony of medical supplies and equipment to the National Referral Hospital yesterday.

The donation of medical supplies for detection and operation of heart diseases total to SBD$500,000.

According to the report of Mortality Country Fact Sheet 2006, WHO, heart disease is the number one killer that accounts for 24% of all deaths in 2002.

"[Heart disease] is also one of Solomon Islands' largest health problems," Ambassador Chan said.

"... a lot of progress has been made in reducing symptoms and increasing survival of patients with heart failure through a suitable health education and available treatments to the patient."

Ambassador Chan said the donation have traveled a long way from Taiwan to Solomon Islands, "symbolizing a token of friendship and a spirit of cohesion between our two countries".

In response, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Dr. George Malefoasi said the ceremony marked yet another milestone in health.

"The equipment will widen the capacity in diagnosis deep seated and sometimes unresolved medical dilemmas in the past."

He said that the ministry has committed itself on both the national and international levels to address the various health-related issues encountered.

"In terms of development, we have been self-reliant on resources made available by our government as well as external development partners."

Dr. Malefoasi added that the handover "cements" the bilateral relationship with Solomon Islands, which has further strengthened the professional and technical relationship between the two countries in terms of health.