PEOPLE of Central Province now have improved access to life saving medicine with the opening of an Australian Government funded Provincial Medical Store in Tulagi last week.
The new facility will benefit the 3,500 people in the Ngella area by increasing the amount of medical supplies stored in Tulagi and keeping them better protected.
The facility also has a dispensary where the public can access lifesaving medicine more easily. These improvements will boost the availability of medicine in Tulagi and the wider provincial community.
The Government of Australia provided SBD$1.1m in direct financial support to the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services to complete the project.
The new store was opened by the Premier for Central Province, Selwyn Mapuli, Undersecretary of Health Improvement, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Dr Chris Becha and First Secretary, Australian High Commission, David Kelly.
Speaking at the opening, David Kelly said, “Australia’s priority is to support front line primary health care, especially in the rural areas where the majority of people live.
Increasing availability of essential medicine in Solomon Islands is an achievement that National Medical Stores and Ministry of Health can take full credit for.
Australia is very pleased to have assisted with funding for the initiative.”
The availability of essential medicine at primary health facilities has improved from less than 40 per cent in 2008 to more than 70 per cent in 2014.
This has helped to reduce the number of maternal and child deaths over the same period of time.
An important part of this success is the creation of 16 provincial medical stores.
National Medical Stores distributes essential medical supplies to the 16 provincial medical stores (known as Second Level Medical Stores), who are responsible for the medicine stocks of 325 rural clinics nation- wide. The new medical pharmacy in Tulagi will service the Ngella area which has 15 rural clinics.
This year Australia will provide SBD$100m to the Solomon Islands Government for health care in Solomon Islands.
The official ceremony was witnessed by government officials from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, provincial government and Development Partners delegates as well as surrounding community Chiefs, leaders and members.