THE Office of the Prime Minister & Cabinet (OPMC) yesterday received boxes of medical supplies from the Papua New Guinea Government.
The medical supplies were handed over by the PNG Government through its High Commission Office in Honiara.
The five cartons of medical supplies contained 23 different types of essential and life-saving drugs which arrived in the country over the weekend.
The supplies were officially handed over by the acting PNG High Commissioner Joseph Konu to the Special Secretary to Prime Minister (SSPM) John Muria Jnr.
In a very brief ceremony, Secretary to Prime Minister Dr Jimmie Rodgers thanked the PNG Government on behalf of the Prime Minister and the Solomon Islands Government.
“Receiving the drugs from our big Melanesian Brother is particularly pleasing. It demonstrates the close relationship between our two island countries and our resolve to help each other in times of great need such as the shortage of essential drugs we are going through in Solomon Islands,” he said.
Rodgers paid a special tribute to the Papua New Guinea Minister of Health, Sir Dr Puka Temu, and his Secretary for Health, Mr Pascoe Kase, both of whom he knows well; for their prompt response to the urgent request for assistance presented to them.
The acting PNG high commissioner HE Konu in response said he is honoured that his first official act as his country’s representative to Solomon Islands is the handing over of these essential drugs.
“I also acknowledge Minister Dr Sir Puka Temu and his Secretary for their vision and commitment to support Solomon Islands at its time of need,” he said.
Since Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela intervened on the medical supplies shortage on July 15, the drug shortage situation has since been stabilised.
The Prime Minister who was not able to attend the handing over ceremony because of Parliament, also conveyed his sincere appreciation.
The Prime Minister had also written personally to PNG’s Minister of Health, Sir Dr Puka Temu to convey his profound gratitude on behalf of the government and people of Solomon Islands for the support provided by the PNG’s Department of Health to help address our drug shortage situation in the country.
Meanwhile, Rodgers said the country’s supply of essential drugs and consumables are expected to be back to normal by September 2018.
“The emergency supplies received from PNG will help bridge the gap between now and when our full orders arrive,” he said.