Far from a paradise

DEAR EDITOR, for many people dreaming of a Robinson Crusoe lifestyle or a long wished for holiday on a Pacific atoll, spending time on Lord Howe atoll in Solomon Islands waters would seem to be the answer to their long awaited dreams.

In reality the situation on Lord Howe atoll would be far from their expectations if current reports of the lack of health care for 3000 people is to be truly believed.

When I say “truly to be believed,” I find it very hard to accept that a community of 3000 at Luaniua has been essentially denied health services for as long as two years due to an unfinished health clinic and when, reportedly, both the responsible MP and Provincial MP had been made aware of the dire situation.

From a humanitarian viewpoint, I would urge the responsible authorities to investigate the serious reports that have emanated from David Gapani, the Chaiman of the Luaniua Clinic Board, as soon as possible in order to ensure medical health services are restored to the people without further delay.

Quoting from what Mr Gapani has said of the situation in his village one will have to agree the facts he has reported need immediate responses.

“Because of a lack of medical services some of the people died due to lack of treatment and medication.

“It is a sad situation because sick patients lack access to medication to treat their sickness.

“Most times they depend on herbal medication and simple home treatment to cure their sickness but it’s not enough for other major diseases or even during birth.

“My village lacks medical services and it’s really sad because some of our people died due to lack of medical services.

“Mr Gapani said only Pelau has a clinic which can be reached by travelling on an outboard motor (OBM).

”It takes two or more hours to reach Pelau but lack of fuel is a setback for my people.

“Ships normally travel to MOI once a month and that’s when fuel supplies are brought in, yet it did not last for a month due to demand.”

Mr Gapani said he has sought assistance from the Member of Parliament (MP) and the Provincial Member to seriously address the situation by completing their clinic. However, there was no response from them, he claimed.

“If the clinic project is not considered by our two leaders then the lives of our people will still be at risk.

Luaniua has a population of more than 3000 residents and this requires the presence of a running health clinic.”

“Our plea is for the MP and the provincial member to visit us and find ways to complete the building before the next general election,” Mr Gapani said.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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