Dear Editor – In a recent letter to the Private Views column of your newspaper I read an article which, although overall was political in nature, it did mention the current plight of the National Referral Hospital when it said (quote) “see the current state of our National Referral Hospital where patients are without beds. There is shortage of nurses, doctors, medicines and there is dire need of proper equipment’s for our people.”
I am deeply conscious of the requirements of the NRH and why I sought the assistance of the New Zealand Charitable Trust, ‘Take My Hands” and which will soon be shipping the first 40ft container of medical supplies and equipment, including 20 beds, to the NRH.
The freight charges for the container have already been donated to the NZ Charitable Trust by the Solomon Islands Forest Association (SFA) and I have acknowledged the considerate and kind help of the SFA in aiding the hospital.
The Office of the Prime Minister also had a role in the facilitation of the freight costs as evidenced in a letter by Alfred Sasako, former government Media Consultant, when he wrote to the Star and said (quote) “We are very grateful for SFA’s timely response,”
The assistance of another New Zealand based Charitable Trust, ‘OceansWatch,’ operating from Wellington, is perhaps not as well known to your readers but this organization, along with ‘Take My Hands’.
I will be featuring as a Helping Organization, on my website www.solomonislandsinfocus.com because it is currently helping to restore Fenualoa Clinic in Temoto Province and will restore the Vanikoro Clinic next.
In addition, Chris Bone, the Managing Director of the organization, has told me medical supplies and basic medical equipment have also been donated to the medical services in Temoto.
In general terms, OceansWatch organization responds to the requests of communities that are struggling with declining marine or terrestrial resources by helping them through resourcing, empowering and facilitating processes to implement locally managed protected areas to protect their biodiversity.
Additionally, the organization also supports communities sustainable livelihood projects by providing advice and resources and delivers workshops to help communities adapt to the effects of climate change. Such work is happening now in Temoto.
On a side issue, I am currently in touch with a young man in the USA who has created what he describes as a ‘Shoe that Grows.’
This is what I know about the product and what has been said about him and the shoes.
“As any parent can tell you, children grow out of shoes at an alarming rate. The problem’s particularly acute in the developing world where going without shoes can expose children to a host of soil-borne diseases.
So what about a shoe that grows along with your child?
Kenton Lee was living and working in Kenya in 2007 when he saw a little girl walking to church in shoes that were too tight for her and had an idea; the Shoe that Grows.
It’s an adjustable shoe that can be loosened and tightened with straps to move up 5 shoe sizes. Already thousands of pairs have been handed out in Kenya, Uganda and Haiti.
Once I have more information about the shoes and their availability from Kenton, it might be possible to see if they could be practical for children living in the rural parts of the Solomon Islands.
He will be in touch with me later today, Wednesday, by phone from the United States.
Finally, in concluding this piece, let us acknowledge the dedicated professional services of our doctors, nurses and health workers who often make do with their limited supplies and equipment and trust that their work will be further aided by the DCCG and with the help of private companies or organization willing to change lives by contributing as the SFA did to the ‘Take My Hands’ Charitable Trust.
Former police commissioner