A 40-foot container of 48 beds and mattresses for the National Referral Hospital (NRH) has arrived in Honiara, thanks to New Zealand’s charitable organisation, Take My Hands.
The gifted items, valued at about SBD138, 000, arrived last week. The container is at the Point Cruz wharf, awaiting clearance by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services this week.
Freight and associated costs from New Zealand were met by the Solomon Forest Association (SFA) after former police commissioner, Frank Short, approached the forestry industry watchdog last August.
SFA promptly paid the NZ$5, 000 (about SBD25, 000) freight and handling costs for the initial consignment.
Leftovers from the total NZ$8, 000 (about SBD40, 000) payment is being used to meet the costs of sending a second container of equipment for provincial hospitals and walking aids for people with disabilities.
The Auckland-based Take My Hands charitable organisation, which has also been supplying hospitals in Fiji with similar hospital items, is sorting out items for the second container based on a wish-list provided by Solomon Islands’ Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
Former police commissioner Short said he was grateful to both Take My Hands and the SFA for pulling resources together in what is a huge humanitarian effort.
“It is a splendid effort by two organisations poles apart but are willing to support a common cause. It is my hope that other donors can come to the party, given that almost all the hospitals in Solomon Islands and the disabled in the community are in urgent need of medical equipment, mobility aids and other basic needs,” Mr Short said from Bangkok today.
“The action by SFA and Take My Hands is exemplary in terms of meaningful partnerships. We need to see more of this, rather than do our own thing.
“Working in partnership is the way to go given the donor-fatigue that is sweeping the international donor community today,” he said.
By Alfred Sasako