The Solomon Forest Association (SFA) has come to the aid of the National Referral Hospital (NRH, paying the full cost of freight charges and associated costs for a shipment of much-need hospital supplies and equipment from New Zealand.
In a statement issued in Honiara, the SFA said it had remitted NZ$8,000 (about SBD37, 000) to Take My Hands, a registered charitable trust, which is coordinating the supplies in New Zealand.
The money remitted yesterday would go towards paying freight and handling charges for a 40-foot container being loaded with hospital beddings, wheelchairs, crutches and other materials for the National Referral Hospital.
The statement made on behalf of the executive committee said that the SFA decided to make a one-off donation after it was approached by the Office of the Prime Minister for assistance.
“The story of this partnership goes back a long way and we are pleased to provide this assistance for the NRH in support of its vital service to the community”.
In January this year, the former Police Commissioner in the Solomon Islands, Frank Short, created and launched a charitable website www.solomonislandsinfocus.com to aid worthy causes in the Solomon Islands, particularly the Christian Care Centre, the Family Support Centre, the Persons’ with Disability Association, the Solomon Islands Development Trust (SIDT) and the Solomon Islands National Council of Women (SINCW).
At the time Mr. Short announced in several letters to the local media that his aims were much broader than simply getting international attention to the organizations he had included in his excellent, and personally financed website, since he very much hoped to provide for the needs and welfare of people throughout the Solomon Islands.
In the course of his work since January, Mr. Short sourced help regionally and eventually linked up with a Charitable Trust organization in New Zealand, ‘Take My Hands’ and through that link-up has managed to source hospital equipment and medical supplies for the NRH and provincial hospitals and clinics.
Ms. Janette Searle, who runs the NZ organization, acquired the needs of the MOH according to their ‘wish lists’, coordinated by Mr. Short.
The first 40ft container is about ready to be shipped; a container containing much needed equipment and also 20 beds and mattresses to be used at the NRH where they are urgently needed.
A second container of a similar size is being prepared to send the equipment and supplies for the provincial hospitals.
Through the very kind assistance of the Solomon Forest Association (SFA), the funds for the freight and handling charges for the first container has been donated to the NZ Charitable Trust and sufficient money also remitted to cover almost the total freight costs of the second container.
“We are very grateful for SFA’s timely response,” a spokesman for the Office of the Prime Minister said.
Mr Frank Short who was instrumental in sourcing the equipment and medical supplies through the charitable organisation, Take My Hands in New Zealand, said, the needs of the National Referral Hospital provided a golden opportunity for working together in serving the needs and interest of the people of Solomon Islands.
“I am pleased to be part of this partnership.”
By Alfred Sasako