Solomons hospitals get boost from NZ
Charity from NZ helps underfunded hospitals in the Solomon Islands
A Solomon Island's National hospital is going to receive 20 containers filled with medical supplies from a New Zealand charity.
Take My Hands collects medical equipment from hospitals around NZ, and then gives them to countries in need.
The Solomon Islands Government has agreed to help foot the bill on the freight costs of shipping the containers across the Pacific.
Former government consultant Alfred Sasako told Lucy Smith the project was almost halted because Take My Hands could not afford to send the supplies over.
ALFRED SASAKO: An agreement with the MOU has been signed which means the Ministry of Health and Medical Services here would provide the various funds to help pay for the freighting from New Zealand. I believe it's about 50 thousand New Zealand dollars which is the equivalent to about 250 thousand Solomon dollars. When you look at it long term its very small amount of money for the sort of impact that you would see the medical equipment and machines coming through and the necessary items that would be of invaluable use to the hospital, and in the provincial centres. It's not a lot of money to spend.
LUCY SMITH: What kind of equipment does the Solomon Islands currently have in the medical centre, is it lacking in medical technologies and equipment?
AS: Certainly there's a lot of basic medical equipment that we should have but we don't. As a result for example we have to send blood tests to Australia. Then of course even bedding, we're lacking at the centre hospital. The first shipment from New Zealand brought 48 beds with mattresses quite a lot of benefits coming through a lot of people who would have been turned away will now have the opportunity to get into the hospital and have doctors examine them properly and all that.
LS: Why is there a lack of medical equipment is it just to do with not enough funding?
AS: Really when it comes to hospital care all the doctors and nurses have been doing their utmost best but they lack the resources they could use. It comes down to money. Last year for about five months we had two operating theatres shut down because of substandard work when it rains it floods the operating theatres and all that and they have to close down those areas, it's basically a lack of money. I know what Take My Hand is doing in NZ in terms of sourcing and securing all these items are much more expensive than the token amount the ministry has agreed to provide and I think that's one of the factors the Solomon Islands people will be very grateful to Take My Hand.
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