Provincial health directors highlight challenges in covid-19 preparedness efforts

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PS Pauline McNeil
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BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO

PROVINCIAL health directors have echoed challenges faced in their preparedness efforts towards covid-19.

They did so to officials from the ministry of health and medical services when they met recently.

Pauline McNeil, Permanent Secretary for Health, said “With the discussion we have with the provincial Heath directors we noted they have challenges in terms of their Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) to be prepositioned in provinces.

“We have talked about this but we need to get a lot more PPEs to enable to move them to the provinces so this one challenge high highlighted by provincial directors,” said McNeil.

She said the other challenge is terms of the incinerators and the mortuaries that they have run down incinerators and the mortuaries also need repairing and replacement.

“We hope that with this State of Emergency support that we have. We looked at those kinds of activities to be able to not only attend to the covid-19 response but in terms of going forward for development purposes,” said McNeil.

She adds in terms of the preparations most of the Provincial Emergency Operation Centers (PEOC) have been activated after couple of days NEOC activated.

“So, I think they were well placed right from the beginning.

In terms of their progress to date most provinces have already identified their sites for quarantine and for isolation but we at the National level we have to do some work in terms of the scope of assessment on these facilities and as I speak some team have went down to provinces,”said McNeil.

She said there is team now in Isabel and there is a team going this week to Shortland to further asses the facilities at the border, so in terms of provincial schedule Western province is done, Malaita is done  and we have Isabel  that’s on going and pending now is for Choiseul province, Temotu, Makira and Renbell and Central province.

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