THE Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) together with heads of five mainstream churches in Solomon Islands have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) as part of strengthening their partnership going forward into the future.
MHMS Minister Dickson Mua and his permanent secretary have signed the MoU on behalf of the ministry alongside the church representatives and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Solomon Islands.
In his keynote address Mua said church has played a major role in ensuring an environment in which the government can exist and they can also maintain peace and harmony in the country.
“They are a relevant partner, not only in nation building, but in the provisions of health services,” he said.
Mua said the signed MoU was a follow up on the initial dialogue for partnership between the ministry and the five main churches representatives held in Munda in July this year.
He said the theme of the Munda meeting was ‘Partnering for the Future We Want’.
“The achievement of the healthy islands and the national health strategic plan framework agenda for a healthy Solomon islands will require all hands –on deck.
“It will require the church organisations to work together in an integrated and in a collaborative manner by pooling our financial resources, knowledge and expertise. The government itself cannot do it on its own,” he added.
The minister said the signed deal yesterday will guide the ministry’s National Health Strategic Plan 2016-2020, where the government has stated its priorities.
“The shared agenda for health is also being guided by the implementation of the National Health Strategic Plan which has 4 key results areas, one of which is to ‘Build Strong Partnership’.
He said the key result areas require include;
- Working with the people through healthy islands, villages, families, schools, workplaces;
- Working with the provincial government, MPs and other government departments;
- Working with donors, churches, non-government organisations and private sectors; and
- Working together within the MHMS.
Mua said the signed MoU signifies a new formalised partnership between the ministry and the five mainstream churches to formalise and strengthen the relationship and partnership that they have already have with the churches.
“This MoU will be extended to our other church organisations in the near future. This MoU aims to set a new agenda for pursing the pathway in the health sector that we want for the Solomon Islands and that is ‘Partnering for the Future We Want.’
“The vehicle to drive this pathway is the implementation of the role delineation policy, a flagship of the MHMS,” he added.
Mua said the policy provides a clear path for service provision for the future with hope that together with such partnership with the churches through the Rural Development Program (RDP), we can drive the NCD addenda of the ministry.
“We can increase our impact and efficiency if we accept that everyone is a stakeholder and is accountable and if we strengthen our strategic direction,” he added.
By IAN M.KAUKUI