BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO
NEW Zealand (NZ) government yesterday delivered SBD$15million to the government of Solomon Islands to upgrade Gizo and Kilufi hospitals to support the country’s response effort to Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19).
In the event on Tuesday 28th April New Zealand High Commissioner to Solomon Islands Her Excellency Georgina Roberts handed over the letter of support to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET) Jeremiah Manele.
Mr Manele said the $15 million budget will go towards the upgrading of two of the country’s provincial hospitals, the Gizo Hospital in Western province and Kiluufi Hospital in Malaita province.
He said the upgrading of both hospitals will include refurbishment and securing an isolation ward and quarantine ward in each hospital, upgrade of laboratories in each hospital, procurement of one X-ray machine and one QPCR machine for Gizo hospital.
“Excellency, on behalf of the government and the people of Solomon Islands, I would like to convey our most sincere appreciation and thanks to the New Zealand government and people for providing the much-needed budget support assist us in our fight against the COVID-19,” said Manele.
He said the support rendered by the NZ government will contribute towards the effort that government is undertaking to ensure the country is prepared should there be any possible entry by covid-19.
Roberts on behalf of the New Zealand government said as partners of Solomon Islands they are happy to support some of the priority areas in the country in terms of the preparedness effort to respond to covid-19.
“Today’s handing over of the support letter is one part that has been under long conversation with your key persons on how NZ offer a budget support on the priority areas,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary of Health and Medical Services said apart from these hospitals the Ministry will also be looking at upgrading and improving health centres in other provinces and that partners for these have been identified.