Continuing and disturbing reports of basic shortages at the NRH

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DEAR EDITOR, it was disturbing to read Radio New Zealand’s early morning news bulletin broadcast throughout the Pacific region this morning, Thursday, June 21, 2018.

The news report mentioned (quote): “Pregnant women in Solomon Islands are being told to bring their own supplies when they go to hospital to give birth.

“Women in labour are being asked to bring their own gauze, bed sheets and latex gloves to the country’s main hospital in Honiara.”

As I wrote in my recent letter to media sources in Honiara the MHMS/NRH/TMH signed a MOU to supply between 8 to 10 containers of medical equipment and supplies per year but shipments stopped being sent by Take My Hands Charity Trust in New Zealand when the MHMS failed to meet the second stage payment of NZ$25,000 required by the agreed terms of the MOU.

As the co-ordinator and a party to the MOU I sought some assistance for the MHMS/NRH and the management of TMH gave permission for the MHMS to pay just 50 percent of the outstanding money (NZ$12,500) to facilitate the freightage of the medical equipment and medical supplies now said to be in critical short supply at the NRH.

In the absence of that reduced contribution, and given the desperate shortage of hospital beds at the NRH and two provincial hospitals, I sought assistance from likely donors and the SFA swiftly came to the rescue and donated over US$11,000 to ship two forty foot containers with 100 beds.

Those beds are being collected from several NZ hospitals and the first batch of fifty or so will be shipped towards the end of this month or in early July.

The second batch of 50 more beds will be freighted very soon afterwards.

TMH carefully matches the needs of the hospital authorities and collates what is requested, including in the past beds, mattresses, bed sheets, latex clothes, mobility aids, items of hospital equipment, including some furniture items, thermometers, blood pressure equipment and the kind of things the hospital needs as daily disposable items.

TMH did the same in recently sending HOH second hand clothing and extra items for local NGO representatives.

3000 pairs of eye glasses, the second batch of eye glasses in recent times I requested from Lions Clubs in New Zealand, are ready for distribution to needy people throughout the provinces and TMH managed to load the 20 boxes of those glasses in an earlier container which was also funded by the SFA.

I and TMH remain committed to aiding the MOHMS/NRH but resolving the issue of basic shortages at the NRH should not have to rely on the continuing kindness of private donors no matter how receptive and kind hearted past donors have been in responding to my pleas.

Yours sincerely

FRANK SHORT

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