The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) has finally made it again to Malaita Outer Islands (MOI) following its first deployment in January this year, that detected COVID-19 cases from the community.
Though community transmission in Honiara, followed by Malaita Province, had delayed the 2nd deployment, health through much discussions and mobilization of limited personals has finally made it there, fortnight ago, a statement issued by Ministry of Health and Medical Services said.
The 12 health member team in MOI comprised of medical doctors and nurses, pharmacist, risk communication, data, logistics and infrastructure officers.
Medical and COVID-19 supplies deployed with the team consist of COVID-19 supplies and COVID-19 and routine vaccines, rapid test kits, basic drugs and medications, Infection, Prevention and Control and Personal Protective Equipment supplies.
Since arrival, the team have been providing general outpatient services, administration of COVID-19 and other vaccines as per the routine Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI).
Further risk communication activities including community awareness and engagements also carried out for communities in MOI.
Reviewing of clinic registers and collection of Influenza Like Illness data since November and December 2021 also conducted.
Assessment of health infrastructure, Infection, Prevention and Control needs and gaps to address to strengthen COVID-19 preparedness in MOI also carried out including for communication and logistics.
The team are currently in Pelau and scheduled to travel to Luaniua in the next few days and return back to Honiara on day 10 of deployment.
The Ministry of Health following downward trend of cases in the capital in recent days and weeks has commenced deployment of health workers at the National Ministry and National Referral hospital to the provinces to support with COVID-19 response mainly management of severe and critical COVID-19 patients including outpatient services.
Support towards more strategic roll out of COVID-19 vaccines and COVID-19 testing also provided for provinces based on their COVID-19 situation.
Replenishment and prepositioning of additional medical supplies including for COVID to provincial pharmacies including hospitals and clinics.
These deployments are based on gaps and needs identified by provincial health teams. So far support have been rendered to Malaita, Western and Central Islands Province and more will be organized for other provinces.
This is important as the virus is now transmitting to and within rural communities where majority of our population reside.