The National Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) today handed over a newly procured Toyota 3-ton truck to the Guadalcanal Provincial Ministry of Health to support with ongoing delivery of public health programs, including routine immunization, waste management, and transportation of medical consignments such as drugs, etc.
Dr. Gregory Jilini Deputy Secretary Health Care, Ministry of Health, highlighted that the funds used to procure the truck was from the Government of New Zealand as part of their overall budgetary support towards health’s efforts against COVID-19.
Although the truck has been procured over a year ago with the in country agent or supplier, the challenges with international shipment due to COVID-19 pandemic had caused delays with timely arrival into the country and hence delivery to the GP health team.
Nevertheless, Dr Jilini explained, “In the past one to two years, the National Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) have been working closely with donors and partners mobilizing both technical and financial support, and while the primary focus was on preparedness and response to COVID-19, we were also keeping in sight and during discussions, the need to further strengthen the country’s health systems”,
“Part of this health system strengthening efforts is addressing the many gaps in logistics, especially with land and sea transportation given the difficulties presented by our geographical settings. This is critically important if the Ministry is to provide its services to the people in an effective and efficient manner but also ensuring that these services can also be easily accessed”, explained Dr. Jilini.
He said therefore the Ministry is pleased to procure and deliver this 3-ton truck to the Guadalcanal Provincial Ministry of Health; similar size vehicles have been given to other provinces already and the ministry will continue to support provinces based on existing needs and gaps to ensure effective service delivery.
Receiving the truck, Provincial Health Director for Guadalcanal province expressed sincere thanks to the Ministry for recognizing the ongoing challenges of the province in terms of logistics for health operations and delivery of services.
“Thank you indeed and we receive with hearts filled with thanks. We will ensure that the vehicle is well taken care of so that it can serve us well today and into the future”, said Dr Denty.
The Ministry of Health have been striving to address logistical challenges and gaps across programs and provinces and in recent times, it has procured and deployed 3- ton trucks for waste management and other activities with almost all provinces have one each. Additional to these include land cruisers and Hilux(s), 7 Toyota land cruiser ambulances, 14 Sea ambulance- like speed boats powered by horse-powered mercury engines, around 20 Sixty horse powered mercury engines etc. as part of its overall efforts to strengthen health systems.