Mammogram machine donation unused

BY INDY MAEALASIA

MONTHS after receiving a donated mammogram machine—the vital screening tool for detecting breast cancer—the National Referral Hospital (NRH) has yet to make it operational.

The life-saving machine worth SBD1.2 million was donated by the Solomon Islands Maritime Authority (SIMA) on November 20, 2023.

According to an insider source, following the donation, a specialist was tasked with installing the machine; unfortunately, the machine cannot be used due to the absence of a part.

Based on an Oncology Unit report, breast cancer remains one of the top five cancers in the country and ranks second behind cervical cancer.

Responding to queries, the NRH said in a press statement, “The NRH has contacted the supplier, and plans are in place for the supplier to deliver the additional part in May or June this year.

The statement also said that “the supplier will also be doing appropriate calibrations and application training with local staff at the same time.”.

Furthermore, the NRH authorities gave the assurance that the public would be informed once the machine was operational.

Previously, during the official handover ceremony in December 2023, the Permanent Secretary of MHMS, Pauline Boseto McNeil, said the new machine is a strategic effort to control the high cases of breast cancer.

Additionally, the donation of the machine is an outcome of a 2022 MOU signed between SIMA and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) as part of SIMA’s community engagement and contribution to the prevention and early diagnosis of breast cancer.

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