Monthly Archives

September 2016

by PS Dr Tenneth Dalipanda

By | Solomon Islands Strategic Plan 2016-2020 | No Comments

This strategic plan is a sign post on our road to health. It is an opportunity, after considering what went well in the past and what did not, to refresh our vision and reset our direction for the next fi ve years. Reflecting on past performance, the MHMS faces a big challenge. We have shown improvement in areas such as malaria control and reducing neonatal deaths, but have plateaued in others. Overall we need to improve the quality of our service delivery.

The four Key Result Areas (KRAs) spell out the priorities that we must address; improved program coverage, partnerships, quality, and building a foundation for the future. These priorities apply to the whole organisation, not just one part or program. Take immunisation coverage as an example. Getting full coverage of the population must come first. Never again should we allow our children to be exposed to a widespread measles epidemic. The plan identifies other areas where we want to improve coverage, access and reach of services. This is what Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is really about.

To be effective at improving health we cannot continue to work in isolation, as health is generated by both our work and the impact we make with our partners. The plan will challenge us to work in a coordinated way with partners such as the churches, and with other line ministries in our work across sectors.








Permanent Secretary for Health Dr Tenneth Dalipanda

Improving the quality of services is a key result area that also has relevance to every part of the MHMS. Not only in clinics, in hospitals and in public health programmes but also in internal financing and programming. In preparing for the future, both the skills and the positioning of our workforce feature in the plan. Improving access is directly related to making sure a well trained and appropriately skilled workforce is available and accessible to meet the health needs of our rural and urban populations. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are now on the global agenda and also feature in this plan.

The SDGs cover the social determinants, so to achieve them working in partnership is essential, since we are serving the same populations. To meet these strategic challenges, the MHMS is re-organising itself to become more streamlined, more effective and to make each dollar go further. Provinces will have greater sway at the executive table and we will be working to complete the role delineation policy, as it will help drive this strategic plan. We face a challenging financial environment.

Aid flows are fluctuating and hard to predict; whilst in some areas we have not fully spent the available resources. The government’s commitment to financing the health sector has been steadily growing. Our challenge is to use it effectively and efficiently in the service of the people. This plan outlines our approach on the road to health for our nation. I invite all our stakeholders to use it to guide their activities in the health sector through to 2020. This plan is the beginning of the journey. What we do, individually and collectively, over the next five years will make the difference to the health of our people.



by Dr Tony Clarke

By | ANZGITA – another player in the Solomon Islands! | No Comments

DAISI has taken on an important task of assisting in the development and provision of health services in the Solomon Islands and has a number of impressive achievements to its credit in providing training, improving infrastructure and the provision of specialist care. ANZGITA (Australia & New Zealand Gastroenterology International Training Association) has been active in the Pacific since 2008 but has only in recent years been invited to contribute to gastroenterology training in the Solomon Islands.
ANZGITA has recently completed its ninth four-week training program in Suva with trainees from all over the Pacific. Two doctors from the Solomon Islands attended the first program in 2008 (Dr Elizabeth Ware and Dr Jerry Kena) and there have been several more on subsequent programs. It has also provided training in Myanmar and Timor Leste with requests from several other sites including Vanuatu, Cambodia, Nepal and Madagascar.
ANZGITA has a policy of only undertaking programs that have been identified by the local health care workers and administrators as their priority. For 12 years, Dr Eileen Natuzzi a vascular and acute care surgeon from San Diego has been a frequent visitor to the Solomon Islands providing training and other health care support. She was asked to assist in developing a gastroenterological endoscopy program as the Honiara surgeons recognised that they had a high burden of GI bleeding which was difficult to manage without endoscopic diagnosis. Eileen was able to source a functional endoscopy inventory in the USA and initially brought a number of US endoscopists to provide training. Three years ago she made contact with ANZGITA and Eileen now leads the ANZGITA program in the Solomon Islands as it is much more practical to bring the training from our region.
ANZGITA has mainly been an organisation which brings specialist doctors and nurses to provide training to the local health care workers on site. Two Pacific professionals have been sponsored to spend a few months in Australia further enhancing their experience. ANZGITA is now embarking on a more ambitious fundraising phase involving the GI industry companies to be better able to support the sites where we train, to ensure that they are able to provide a continuous service which was at all times safe with impeccable infection control. Ensuring that there is a pathway for endoscopy equipment to be repaired and serviced remains a challenge in many Pacific countries.
More than 60 doctors and nurses have contributed to the training programs over the past 9 years – many on multiple occasions. All have found the experience extremely valuable and rewarding. And while those on their first training program often feel that the conditions they face are poor – those who have been before remark on the improvements that they see.
The intersection between DAISI and ANZGITA is of course the management of GI problems in the Solomon Islands. While DAISI also works across many other fields of health, it is clear that we should find common ground in assisting Solomon Island professionals better manage the huge burden of GI disease that they face.

Dr Tony Clarke a gastroenterologist from Canberra is the ANZGITA Deputy Chair and Program Coordinator, having done multiple trips to the Solomon Islands implementing Gastrointestinal services at National Referral Hospital (NRH) in Honiara. He first established endoscopy training in Honiara in 2012 when he and program director Dr Elieen Natuzzi met with key surgeons and physicians at National Referral Hospital.