Australia has provided a three-month supply of essential medicines for the National Referral Hospital (NRH). This follows a request from the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) to replenish supplies in the face of uncertain supply-chains due to the recent civil unrest in Honiara.
Essential medicines provided to the NRH included antibiotics, cancer treatments, blood thinners and lifesaving adrenaline, drugs that are required as part of normal operations in the country’s biggest hospital. The team at National Medical Stores (NMS) and NRH have worked tirelessly to keep the medical supply chain operational in these challenging times.
These supplies worth approximately SBD400,000 arrived on a Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF) flight on 7 December from Brisbane. Thanks to the hard work of the NMS and NRH, these supplies are already being distributed to patients.
At a small event to acknowledge the handover of these critical supplies Chief Executive Officer of the National Referral Hospital, Dr George Wilson Malefoasi thanked the government of Australia for the timely support.
“We are actually on the edge of running out of stock with some of these medicines provided and I thank the health team of the Australian High Commission for reaching out to us in this very desperate time and responding to our request for urgent supplies in just a week.”
“Our National Medical Store team are currently unpacking medicines and consumables from the 13 containers containing medicines and consumables that recently arrived in Honiara therefore it may take time for these to arrive at our pharmacy. So thank you for the timely support and we remain grateful for yet another wonderful support from Australia. Thank you indeed,” explained Dr Malefoasi.
Acting Australian High Commissioner Ms Sally-Anne Vincent said, “The friendship and partnership between our nations means that we gladly extend the hand of friendship in response to this request for essential medicines. Solomon Islands is Australia’s neighbour, partner and member of the Pacific family. We will always stand by our neighbours in the face of challenges, it is the right thing to do.”
In addition to the initial deployment of Australian Federal Police and Australian Defence Force personnel to work with the RSIPF to restore law and order, Australia is committed to working with Solomon Islands during the period of recovery. Australia’s longstanding development partnership
programs, including in areas such as health, education, infrastructure and governance, are pivoting to support Solomon Islands recovery at this time.