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Installation of CT Scan Machine progressing well

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The first phase of CT scan machine installation, which includes mechanical installation of the machine and PACS installation, which included setting of  computer workstations within the CT building was successfully carried out this week. This was completed on 7th April 2022.

This first phase of installation also involves calibration of the scan machine, testings for radiation safety levels and power safety and testing is all completed with a issued of practical completion certificate by Siemens, and Power Safety Certificate by Solomon Power on the 7th April 2022.

The Radiation Safety Compliance was completed by a Radiation Scientist from Australia, and clearance was also completed on the 7th April 2022

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The radiation safety scientist also in Honiara with the Siemens Engineers this week. The radiation compliance safety has passed the Australian and New Zealand radiation safety standard for CT equipment .

This phase of installation was carried out by two CT engineers  from Siemens,  who  supplied the machine. The team arrived in country on 1st April, 2022 and have been working under the direction of CT Project Team Leader, Dr Aaron Oritaimae and in   collaboration with 2 ICTSU staffs, 4 Hatanga LTD staffs, 2 local certified Electrician and Solomon Power staff and one local biomedical engineer.

The work start on 2nd April and ended on the 7th April 2022.

Now the CT is commissioned and cleared to be used ,  started on a 24 months warrantee period , followed by another 3 years of service maintenance contract . A total of 5 year preventive service maintenance is on the CT machine and the PACS computer system, in contract signed between SIG and Siemens.

The next installation phase which should commence on 11th April, 2022  will involve CT clinical application training to introduce the local staff to the use of the equipment, including computer system.

Dr Aaron Oritaimae,CT Project Manager , MHMS  said that the first phase of installation has progressed well and the team is looking forward to commence the second phase as of next week.

The   time for the completion of the whole entire installation process is 22nd April 2022, after radiology staffs has done a 2 weeks of application training.

Radiology Staffs will be undergoing a 2 weeks of intense training on the application of the CT. An application specialist from Siemens will conduct the in-house training, starting on 11th April 2022. The Application specialist will arrive from Australia today and the three TA who has complete their work, will leave for Brisbane today.

As a back-up, one of the Siemens Engineer will remain in Honiara for under a week, to observe the performance of the CT machine, during the training period.

The CT installations which ends on the 22nd April, will be followed by a CT service inception phase which will take another 4 weeks to complete. During the inception phase, more CT examination will be performed, both during  normal working hours and during emergencies. It will be during the inception phase, that, CT protocols will be put to the test. The CT procedures and clinical protocols has been extensively discussed and developed by Department of Radiology, which provide the standards for CT examination at the NRH.

Dr Aaron Oritaimae, who is the Team Lead of the CT project, said that the CT protocol is based on Australian and New Zealand Standard and details the clinical use of CT, referrals to CT, approval of CT to be done, radiation safety protocols, CT examination pathway and application of CT machine before , during and after CT examination, reporting of CT by radiologists, emergency and normal bookings, cleaning of the CT machine, continuously learning and mutlidsciplanry meetings with other departments, and many more.

After the CT protocols has been put to application, the radiology department will be able to assess its use in the local context, then the CT service is now ready to be established on a firm foundation in Solomon Islands . Dr Aaron Oritaimae informed that CT service official hand-over can only be done after the inception phase is completed by Radiology Department and by then the population can be informed on the CT service types and capabilities, which will be released at the time of “official handover on the 30th May 2022”.

With the COVID-19 pandemic and exemption from quarantine granted for the Siemen’s team in country, detailed COVID-19 mitigation plan was set in place with strict IPC protocols including COVID-19 testing for all who enters the building. Additionally, the CT building is out of bound for the duration of the instalment. To date, all tests have returned negative for both the Siemens team and local staff engaged for the first phase of installation. 

The CT SCAN is a national project and the Government is making all efforts so that equipment and technicians are coming into the country for installation.

Special thanks to Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) for effectively facilitating the uplifting of the CT scan machine from Brisbane and other logistics support to the hospital and to Hatanga Company for providing construction support and movement of the CT scan machine from DFAT hardware to the hospital.

CT scan is crucial for appropriate medical treatment as it enables detailed images of many structures inside the body, including internal organs, blood vessels and bones. They can be used to diagnose conditions including damage to bones, injuries to internal organs, problems with blood flow, stroke and cancer. Many of our sick patients with non-communicable diseases will benefit greatly from the CT Scan.

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