GSH opens Medical Lab, X-ray and COVID-19 Isolation Ward

COVID-19 preparedness and Medical Diagnostic capacity and capability of Good Samaritan Hospital (GSH), in Guadalcanal Province, have been enhanced following the official launch and opening of the hospital’s COVID-19 screening facility, X-ray and Medical Laboratory, Friday last week. 

Located within the country’s largest commercial oil palm plantation, east of Honiara, the hospital serves a population of around 43,542 within its catchment area. 

A joyous moment indeed for GSH management, staff and off course the patients. But also joining in on the excitement was the Ministry of Health’s Senior Executive Management who came out in full force together with heads of health’s technical agencies, WHO and UNICEF and the donors whom have contributed significant funding support to get these infrastructures in place, The Republic of Germany and the Solomon Islands Forest Association (SIFA). 

Ribbon cutting by (Left) Johnny Sy President of the SI Forest Association, (Right) GP Health Director Dr Joel Denty and MHMS Permanent Secretary Mrs. Pauline McNeil with health officials to open the medical laboratory at GSH.

SIFA provided a sum of 150,000SBD towards the medical laboratory, the Republic of Germany through its embassy in Canberra, Australia for funding the COVID-19 isolation ward and the Solomon Islands government for the remainder of the facility expansion and other related works. 

The event was decorated with speeches filled with thanks to the donors and partners whom have provided support towards the hospital’s service expansion and praise towards including GSH management and team whom have put exceptional effort in advocating, raising awareness around the needs of the hospital resulting in the funding support. 

Inside the medical laboratory with all equipment in place and ready for use

Ministry of Health Deputy Secretary Health Care, Dr Gregory Jilini, responsible for the provincial health praised GSH team for championing the drive to mobilize support themselves with partners and the government through the Ministry to achieve such a huge milestone for the hospital. “In every achievements there are champions, and in this case I wish to acknowledge Dr Zimlon Bosawai and your team at the hospital for being the champions in pushing for the expansion of these services that has now come into fruition”, said Dr Jilini.  

(L-R) WHO Rep Dr Sevil, Dr Zimlon of GSH, Dr Joseph Paáhu (incoming Acting Head of Radiology, GP Health Director Dr Joel Denty (Left) and MHMS Deputy Secretary Dr Gregory Jilini cutting ribbon to open the GSH new X-ray room with Health Permanent Secretary Pauline McNeil and Sister Daly of GSH on the right. 

Dr Zimlon Bosawai Medical Officer in Charge of GSH, in his remarks described the newly expanded structure and service as great relieve for GSH. “The hospital have had to meet high costs of transporting patients to NRH for x-ray and blood samples and the lengthy time involved with transportation and blood test results for treatment of sicknesses,  had become a continuous frustrating experience for both medical staff and patients. Therefore, we are very pleased indeed to finally have our own. Thank you to the government and the Solomon Islands Forest Association that enabled the completion of the laboratory and X-ray facility”

X-ray machine ready set in place ready for set up and use

“Thank you as well to Republic of Germany for gifting us with the COVID-19 screening facility and UNICEF for the tent for the holding bay which is very important with our current COVID-19 community transmission preparedness which we are at the moment using as COVID-19 vaccination centre”. Explained Dr Bosawai. 

Representative of the Republic of Germany in Solomon Islands Honorary Consul Ms. Jessica Bradford (Left front) and PS Health Mrs. Pauline McNeil and all other health officials opening COVID-19 screening facility with cutting of ribbon

Director for Guadalcanal provincial Health Dr Joel Denty while echoing similar sentiments of thanks to donors and partners, extended gratitude towards Bishop Lucian Capelli of Catholic and AMIS and the Pieta Sisters of Solomon for continuous support with the implementation of the provincial health’s strategic plan and actions which includes these new infrastructures. 

Officials get a chance to also extend visit to operating theatre of Good Samaritan Hospital

He used the occasion to draw attention to the important role GSH hospital can play in potentially alleviating pressure on NRH services and thereby resources. “ Expanding services at this hospital will greatly reduce the number of Guadalcanal people seeking medical treatment at NRH thereby alleviating the current high pressure faced by the hospital”, said Dr Denty. 

Both Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Medical Superintendent (MS) of the NRH acknowledged the milestone reached at GSH and the fact that any development with the hospital will also contribute towards a more efficient, effective and satisfactory service delivery by NRH.  Both pledged support in terms of technical capacity towards the GSH hospital’s X-ray and medical laboratory and assured of continued strong cooperation by the two hospitals. 

Health Permanent Secretary Mrs. Pauline McNeil in delivering her remarks highlighted that bolstering capacity and capability of provincial health facilities and human resources for better health service delivery has been the focus of the Ministry more especially when the majority of the population resides in the rural areas. “Therefore having such developments witnessed today is indeed a pleasure for the Health’s Senior Executive Management team who are all here to join in the celebration”.

“The Ministry of Health will continue to work to implement its Role Delineation Policy that sets out the type of services as per categories of health facilities and continue to strive to achieve the goal of Universal Health Coverage where everyone can easily access health care services without any financial burden. However, these cannot be achieved by health alone but through the cooperation of communities across the country, churches and all other institutions and organizations, support from donors and partners including the private sector,” outlined Mrs. McNeil. 

Vaccination Centre at Good Samaritan Hospital

Representative of the Republic of Germany in Solomon Islands Honorary Consul Ms. Jessica Bradford explained that the COVID-19 screening facility was funded through the German Embassy in Canberra under the micro-project funding. 

“Micro-projects funding has been in operation for the over 20 years and traditionally The German Embassy in Canberra funds micro-projects in the Solomon Islands, providing immediate aid where no funds available. The projects are directly benefiting and have a positive, sustainable impact on living conditions in the community. This year was different in that funding was specifically for COVID related projects which is how Dr Zimlon, Sister Daly and Good Samaritan Hospital became recipients of this year’s funds”.