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Caretaker Minister of Health farewelled

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The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) yesterday evening thanked and farewelled the Caretaker Minister of Health and Medical Services, Member of Parliament for Maringe Kokota, Dr Culwick Togamana for his services to the Ministry and the people of Solomon Islands.

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Honourable Dr Culwick Togamana joined the Ministry of Health and Medical Services in September 2020. Prior to this appointment, he was the Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management & Meteorology from 16th November 2017 to Sept 2020.

Speaking at the farewell event representing the development and donor partners, World Health Organization Country Representative (WHO) Dr Howard Sobel said it was an honour working side by side with the caretaker minister attending international and national events.

“On behalf of the partners, I bid you farewell and hope I will have the opportunity to work with you in the coming future. Thank you for your services to Solomon Islands and your contribution to International Health”, said Dr Sobel.

Health Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Pauline McNeil said the Minister came on board at the ministry during the challenging face of COVID-19.

“His first mission was to Gizo in November 2020 to officially open the COVID-19 Isolation Unit. Following from there on, that kickstarted everything else on Covid”, said Mrs. McNeil.

She highlighted the Minister’s daily covid-19 updates, launching of the national covid vaccination and deployment, awaiting arrival of the numerous covid vaccine and related covid consignments, acceptance of kind donations from development and donor partners, getting numerous covid related policies and strategies to cabinet and ensuring that the ministry gets the cabinet’s blessing on our strategic documents during those trying times.

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“And indeed, we got the many blessings which included curbing of the community transmission within less than 8 weeks, having had less than 300 covid related deaths most related to other underlying medical conditions, acquiring substantive resources from our traditional partners as well as new partners, and acquiring additional investments in the health sector”, said Mrs. McNeil.

She thanked all the Heads of Divisions and health workers working tirelessly during the pandemic and added that the success covid story was achieved through our strategic preparedness and response efforts, our mobilization or resources and through strong partnerships with our stakeholders of our partners.

PS McNeil thanked the Minister for being MHMS’s mouth piece in Cabinet and for ensuring our key policy and strategic documents were approved at Cabinet as well as in Caucus.

In the regional and international platforms during his tenure the minister had the opportunity to attend high level regional and international meetings, representing the ministry well in delivering his statements and interventions at these platforms.

PS McNeil then thanked the Minister’s wife and children at the thank you and farewell event for their unwavering support towards their father during his time at the ministry.

Meanwhile, Caretaker Minister Dr Culwick Togamana thanked the MHMS Development Partners and all the hardworking staff of the health sector further stated, that he is truly humbled and grateful for all the support received from everyone.

“Without your support we would not have been able to deliver during the covid-19 pandemic and also to deliver better health services to our people”, said Dr Togamana.

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