Could foreign donor aid be directed to restore Solomons’ rural health clinics?

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DEAR EDITOR, last week the SIG reported in a press release that the Government of Israel had offered help to the Solomon Islands in education and health.

This is a précis of what I read

“The offer came about following a meeting between the Solomon Islands Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela and the Israeli Ambassador to the Pacific Island States, Tibor Shalev Schlosser, in Honiara last week.

“The Israeli Government reportedly stands willing to help provide fully funded scholarships to undergo training in Israel.

“Israel can provide training in the areas for medical doctors, agriculture, health and also women empowerment,” Mr Schlosser said.

“The Ambassador also offered to help in the areas of climate change and health by sending doctors to Solomon Islands to assist in medical centres.”

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Sending doctors to help in medical centres would be helpful, I am confident, but most, if not all, of the country’s rural medical clinics are very old, practically derelict and have ceased to function.

In his post-election pledge to the nation, the PM the Hon Rick Hou, said he would be giving priority to the restoration of rural health clinics.

The numbers of people failing to get adequate and proper medical care has reached disturbing statistics and I cite, as in the past, the situation at Tatamba in Isabel Province and at Panueli on Savo Island where upwards of 15,000 in the two communities have special difficulty in accessing their health care needs.

If foreign governments, like Israel, are charitable enough to want to help the Solomon Islands then it would be my wish that donor aid is directed to the early rehabilitation of the country’s rural health clinics and help also given to supporting the health care providers that would be needed to work from there.

Yours sincerely

FRANK SHORT

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