THE completion of the $16million Area Health Centre at Avuavu, Guadalcanal Province will benefit around 11,000 people in the area.
The Area Health Centre which was funded by the Government of Korea (KOICA) through the World Health Organisation was officially opened on Tuesday last week.
Guadalcanal Provincial Health director Dr Joel Denty said the facility, including the recently opened Aola Health Centre, are both results from concerning reports of higher maternity death rates in the remote Guadalcanal Province area.
“Therefore, while these health centres are part and parcel of the overall efforts of health to improve health services and facilities across the country, this particular health situation has been the driving force to push us to ensure that we get it done as soon as possible so that these health issues can be addressed more effectively and efficiently,” Dr Denty said.
“Now when you visit this health facility you will know that your child will be better taken care of with well-equipped facilities provided in this area health centre,” Dr Denty told Avuavu community members.
He said the project is part of the commitment of MHMS towards the Role Delineation Policy for Solomon Islands.
The policy sets out the path for health services provision across the country in support of the objectives of the National Health Strategic Plan and our ultimate goal of achieving Universal Health Coverage for our people.
Universal Coverage is aimed at ensuring that all people have access to needed promotive, preventive and rehabilitative health services, of sufficient quality to be effective, while also ensuring that people do not suffer financial hardship when accessing these services.
Dr Denty encouraged the community members in Avuavu and Weathercoast area to take good care, ownership and responsibility of their new health facility by working together to ensure health workers serving in the health facility are well looked after and the health workers too will provide better health services to the communities.
He then thanked Government of Korea for the financial support rendered to the project and WHO for the partnership not only in implementation but also ensuring that the facility meets technical requirements of an AHC level facility as stipulated in the Role Delineation Policy of Health.
Officer in Charge of WHO Solomon Islands Office, Dr Sonja Tanevska also echoed similar sentiments of thanks to the government of Korea for the funding support towards the project.
Dr Tanevska said WHO is very pleased to have worked in partnership with MHMS and Guadalcanal Provincial Health overseeing the entire process of getting the health facility to where it is today.
“Our commitment and support will not end here, WHO will continuously provide technical support where needed and work closely with the provincial ministry of health and Avuavu health care centre team to ensure health service continuity and efforts towards achieving SDG goal number three; good health and wellbeing,” Dr Tanevska said.
She concluded by reiterating COVID-19 safe measures and encouraged everyone to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
With the opening of the Avuavu Area Health Centres, the health services offered are as follows; general clinical services (outpatient and inpatient) and essential trauma care, reproductive and child health (RMNCAH) services, Communicable and Non-Communicable diseases services, Visiting dental and ophthalmology clinics, Community / population based health services (including satellite clinics), Support services – Laboratory, IPC, pharmacy, information management, referrals and disaster response coordination.
The opening ceremony last week was witnessed by representatives from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), WHO, Guadalcanal provincial government, children and their parents, youths and community elders and leaders.
They celebrated the new health facility with speeches filed with thanks, dances and songs.