19 Oct 2002

Drugs and medical equipment on way to Solomon Islands

9:13 am on 19 October 2002

The Solomon Islands Minister of Health says an emergency shipment of drugs and medical equipment from Australia, will arrive in the country at the end of next week.

The shipment had been expected last week after health officials had said the sector was facing a catastrophe because of a lack of medicines and other supplies.

The Minister Benjamin Una says he has been advised by the Australian Government which is providing the drugs through AusAid that it decided against using an Airforce Hercules for the shipment, because it would have been too expensive.

Instead it will be delivered by a commercial flight.

Meanwhile the Minister says he has received reports from rural hospitals and clinics that children have died because of the lack of drugs to treat them.