Strategic partnerships, collaboration and cooperation remains crucial towards the Ministry of Health’s implementation of COVID-19 response operations and vaccination roll out efforts.

The Ministry is pleased to have collaborated with Solomon Islands Red Cross Society and Solomon Islands Planned Parenthood Association to engage around 55 of their volunteers to support current COVID-19 operations and vaccination roll out.

The volunteers will specifically, support registration of clients at the Central Field Hospital, undertake data entry at the field hospital and support office management of health’s emergency operation centre and attend to phone calls and handle incoming phone calls in a timely manner through appropriate transfers. They will also be deployed for surveillance work such as contact tracing and support surveillance unit of the MHMS.

Prior to commencing their duties this week, a three days’ workshop was conducted for the volunteers last week. Opening the workshop, Deputy Secretary for Health Care Dr Gregory Jilini thanked the volunteers for interest and motivation to support current health efforts against COVID-19.

“Truly this fight against COVID-19 can only be effective as we want it to be when we not only have all hands on deck but also more hands on deck. Therefore, the ministry in its efforts to ensuring effective delivery of COVID-19 responses whilst maintaining business as usual has reached out to SIRCS and SIPPA”.

“These roles in which these volunteers will be performing are those that the Ministry own staff had previously and currently engaged in thus, the recruitment of these volunteers on board will ensure that the MHMS staff can once again return to perform their duties at the ministry”.

He informed the volunteers that their work is critical in ensuring continuous effectiveness of delivery of services and work towards ongoing efforts of health with COVID-19 operations including roll out of COVID-19 vaccines, especially at the Central Field Hospital.

At the training organized by the Surveillance Department of the ministry with lead facilitator, MHMS Advisor, Dr Yogesh Choudhri, saw the volunteers gaining more understanding about COVID-19, Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures, COVID-19 vaccination roll out, contact tracing, Emergency Operation Centre Management and Communications.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Mrs Pauline McNeil thanked the SIPPA and the SIRCS for accepting request to deploy its volunteers stating that this is not the first as both organizations have continuously provided such support to all other various health programs and projects in the past.

“Thank you very much indeed and these partnerships goes to show our combined commitment and dedication to tackle this global pandemic. On this note, I wish to also extend our gratefulness to all other organizations, donors and partners including those firms within the private sector, civil society groups and our churches for continuous support. Together we will achieve our ultimate goal of preserving the health of our people against this deadly virus”.

Source: MHMS Media