The Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Culwick Togamana and the Australian High Commissioner Dr Lachlan Strahan participated in a ground-breaking ceremony yesterday for the Naha Birthing and Urban Health Centre. The Centre is a flagship SBD150 million investment in the health of Solomon Islanders funded by the Australian Government.
Officials from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Honiara City Council and members of the Naha community also witnessed the unveiling of public signs showcasing the new Centre’s design.
The Centre will accommodate 34 beds and offer antenatal and post-natal services, birthing suites, an operating theatre, x-ray and ultrasound facilities, dental and eye health services, and a pharmacy. It was designed to be resilient to fire, floods and earthquakes.
At the event, Minister Togamana expressed the Government’s intention to ensure quality health care is available for the people of East Honiara.
“This facility is a crucial piece of infrastructure for Honiara. It will provide quality birthing services for women and children, reducing pressure on the National Referral Hospital, and will give our current and next generation the best health care possible.”
Australian High Commissioner, Dr Lachlan Strahan, emphasised Australia’s commitment to health outcomes, and to delivering good quality infrastructure.
Dr Strahan said, “for this Centre to deliver the best health outcomes for the people of Honiara, its clinical services must be well managed and the building itself maintained. Australia is developing a clinical and operational support package that includes a contribution to initial maintenance costs.”
Head nurse for the Naha Clinic Sister Lucy Maena participated in the new design of the Centre, which she unveiled at the ceremony together with the Minister and other guest speakers.
She said, ‘the existing Naha Clinic is old and even our waiting room can no longer accommodate the number of patients we support. My team is so happy that it will be replaced by a modern building.’
City Mayor Eddie Siapu and community representative Robert Pisu both spoke proudly of Naha hosting the new facility, which Mr Pisu said the community would look after.
The Solomon Islands Infrastructure Program is managing the project, which is expected to be completed in 2025.