Sanitation forces East Kwaio clinic to close down

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By Alfred Sasako

A clinic on the border of East Kwaio and East Kwara’ae on Malaita has closed its doors, denying some 2,000-plus people access to medical care.

Sources told Island Sun on Monday the order to close down the facility at Namolaelae village came from the Director of Nursing based at Kilu’ufi Hospital three weeks ago.

The closure was blamed on a number of factors, including sanitation and petty complaints against staff, one said.

“There was no running water at the clinic for almost the entire year. The Namolaelae clinic could have been closed down months ago, but the Director of Nursing at Kilu’ufi decided to delay the action after the MP for East Kwaio and Minister for Infrastructure Development Hon Stanley Festus Sofu pledged to provide materials for the water supply.

“That was back in December last year. We have been waiting since but nothing has come through,” the source said.

The source said it would seem that things would only get worse so the decision was taken to close down the clinic until next year.

The two staff who were at the clinic are now helping at the Nafinua Health Centre until their postings for the next two months are decided.

“There were other issues at the Namolaelae Clinic. Members of the surrounding communities never stop complaining about the staff. This is now about the third time staff had to be moved because of petty complaints from members of the communities around here,” the source said.

The source said it is hoped this would be the last time that staff have to be moved unnecessarily.

Meanwhile, Sofu travelled to the Constituency last weekend, telling people at Yuru District his visit had nothing to do with Constituency matters.

He reportedly told the people he was there to visit with a sick relative.

However, a posting in the social media network, East Kwaio Politics and Development, said Sofu travelled to the Constituency to donate $50,000 to Atoifi Adventist Hospital. It is not clear whether the donation was made, if at all.

Sofu was due to return to Honiara yesterday. The weekend visit was his first in 12 years as an MP for East Kwaio.

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