By Timothy Inifiri Jr.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET), Hon. Jeremiah Manele together with the Ambassador of Japan to the Solomon Islands H.E Miwa Yoshiaki, this week signed a grant agreement and Exchange of notes for the improvement of the Kiluúfi Hospital in Malaita Province.
Upon signing of the grant Agreement, Japan Government through its implementing agency will process and implement a total two billion, eleven million Japanese Yen (¥ 2,011,000,000) which is approximately One Hundred and Twenty Million Solomon Islands Dollars (SBD 120,000,000-00) for the aid project.
Speaking during the signing, Manele said the support to the country’s health sector compliments the many infrastructural, economic and social development assistance provided by the Government and good people of Japan to Solomon Islands over the past decades.
“Malaita province forms the largest portion of Solomon Islands population, this comes with much needed critical infrastructure and service delivery in the health sector for the people of Malaita and the country as a whole”.
“The expansion and improvement of Kilu’ufi Hospital project will further strengthen the function of Kilu’ufi hospital, as it will accommodate the emergency medicine and general outpatient service, medical imaging, delivery unit and operating theatres suite with a central sterilization department”, said Manele.
Manele also highlighted project will also include a new birth unit for mothers and also see operations conducted in a new theatre with upgraded facilities, supported with water and power supply.
“These critical additional facilities will no doubt help to save many lives, and deliver quality service needed by our people on Malaita. Moreover, enhance health system to effectively manage and serve general outpatient services and respond to the health needs of our people in Malaita province”, Manele added.
In response to the Solomon Islands National Government’s request for the assistance in developing the Kilu’ufi Hospital in 2021, JICA started a preparatory survey for the project in January 2022 and sent to Malaita, a preparatory survey team in April 2022.
In his remarks, Japanese Ambassador Miwa Yoshiaki said that the projects aims at strengthening the functions of Kilu’ufi Hospital by establishing and improving its facilities.
“It is extremely significant to establish medical service system in Malaita, the most populous province in the Solomon Islands, so that the inhabitant in Malaita can enjoy an appropriate medical care in their own province without visiting Honiara”.
“The medical infrastructure project will provide the basis for the robust and sustainable development of Malaita, along with the construction of infrastructural facilities such as roads, electricity, and port facilities. I have visited Malaita several times since I arrived in Solomon at the end of April last year, and I strongly hope that this province with rich human and natural resources as well as potential for the development will grow together with the other eight provinces”, said Ambassador Miwa.