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NATIONAL MEDICAL STORES REFURBISHMENT AND EXTENSION PROGRESSING WELL

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Construction work at the National Medical Stores under the National Medical Store Renovation and Office Expansion Project in East Honiara is progressing well and on schedule.

The refurbishment, being done by Jed Enterprises, is funded by the World Bank COVID-19 Emergency Response Project, which aims to prevent, detect, and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and to strengthen national systems for public health preparedness in the Solomon Islands. While the Covid-19 pandemic challenged our health systems and health services, it also provided the Ministry an opportunity to invest in infrastructures particularly on key existing facilities for improvement and expansion.

The National Medical Stores plays a vital role in the health system, and is mandated to procure, store & distribute essential medicines and medical supplies to all Public Health Facilities in the country. Improved infrastructure and additional storage space will ensure that medicine and medical supplies are stored properly and distributed to all health clinics across the country in a timely manner.

Current refurbishment work will see the repair of the whole of the National Pharmacy Building, an extension to the existing building and extra storage space situated near the building. An administration block will also be built next to the existing building.

PMU’s Infrastructure Officer Jonathan Bisili says the project is now in its second phase of the Extension Works and is progressing well and on schedule.

“The extension Project is now in the Prefabricated Container Modular Installation stage and finishing is expected to follow. The contractor, JED Enterprise is currently assembling all the prefabricated structures and components. They are working around the clock to ensure this stage is complete by end of this month.

Refurbishments to the existing building is also being done concurrently and this should be complete by June this year,” said Mr Bisili.

Meanwhile PMU Project Manager Harry Kereseka says the project is the first to be rolled out in a series of projects.

The extension and refurbishment of the National Medical Stores is the first major infrastructure sub-project under the World Bank’s Project Management Unit’s health strengthening component.

“Other ongoing projects in the pipeline include four clinical waste management incinerators, three isolation units and three renovation work at health care facilities across the country,” said Mr Kereseka.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health is grateful to the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MOFT) in negotiating with the World Bank for the COVID Emergency Funds during the midst of the pandemic in 2021/2022.

The project at the National Medical Store is expected to be completed by the end of May this year.

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