The threat of COVID-19 has accelerated the urgency and need to strengthen the national health system’s ability to treat and manage patients with diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

With funding support from the Australian and New Zealand governments, WHO works in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Medical services to “deliver Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) awareness, training, and systems readiness assessments through the Solomon Islands Package of Non-essential Diseases interventions (SolPEN) initiative to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations.”

In a brief statement WHO says that by working together partners strive to ensure that every NCD patient can get:

  • the right treatment and medications
  • at the right time
  • at a health center close to home

“The assistance that WHO has been providing to Solomon Islands in implementation of the SolPEN program is second to none; from technical assistance down to the procurement of needed equipment and supplies,” said Dr Geoff Kenilorea, the NCD Director at the Ministry of Health and Medical services.

Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) has one of the highest death rates and disabilities in Solomon Islands. More than 70% of deaths in the country relates to NCDs and 88% of the factors contributing to NCD cases are related to one’s food intake.