By Timothy Inifiri Jr.
As part of the Pacific Partnership 2022 focus area of medical exchange, Members of the USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) have carried out a two day medical exchange program which began yesterday at the Good Samaritan Medical Center in East Guadalcanal.
The medical exchange program includes variety of medical professionals providing optometry, visual accuracy tests, diabetes checks, a wound care trained nurse and also bio-med technicians repairing some of the Hospital’s equipment and also providing maintenance.
Speaking to the media yesterday Lieutenant Commander Kim Kendricks said that they were very excited to bring the USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), the floating Hospital here as part of the Pacific Partnership 2022 also expressed that its been a wonderful mission. Lt Commander Kendricks also emphasized that they and the local doctors and nurses are sharing knowledge with each other.
“We are learning things from your health care providers and they’re learning things from us, and that is truly a sustainable thing and something that can be carried on, taking care of the patients here in the Solomon Islands”, said Lt Commander Kendricks.
The two-day exchange program saw a good turnout from the surrounding communities with people queuing for checkups and other medical needs.
Peter Tommy a regular patient of the Good Samaritan Hospital said that he heard of the medical team coming to do eye tests and saw it as a opportunity rather than going to the NRH for the tests.
“I was able to collect my reading glasses and would want to thank the organisations for the program which many of us have the chance of collecting reading glasses which are totally free of charge”, said a delightful Tommy.
Lt Commander Kendricks highlighted that next week will see a lot of events occurring at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) with nurses and doctors coming in and working side by side with local health workers in taking care of the patients.
The medical exchange programs will also see engagements at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) where they will be taking various lectures and courses for the Nursing and Public Health Students.
“We have a group of Medical Personnel going to Malaita to a few of the facilities there, I believe it’s one hospital and two clinics so they’ll be going next week”, said Lt Commander Kendricks.
The medical team will also be focusing on the rural clinics including those in and around Honiara, to help share their knowledge and also at the same time learn from our local doctors and nurses.