Despite focus on the containment and elimination of the global pandemic, COVID-19 within the isolation wards and the Quarantine stations, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) is committed also to ensure that front-liners remain safe and protected against the virus when discharging their duties.
Last week, a 5 days training on Infection Prevention (IPC) measures and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidelines commenced for approximately 150 frontline police officers who attended in groups of 30 each day with the last three groups of police frontline officers to receive their training this week.
The training which is ongoing is part of the overall support of the Ministry of Health towards the safety and protection of all COVID-19 frontline or Points of Entry (POE) workers against COVID-19 especially when preparing to be deployed for COVID-19 operations.
MHMS Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Pauline McNeil explained that the strong partnership and collaboration with POE is important to continue protecting our people against the virus from a possible contraction of the virus by our frontline workers.
She highlighted that the training is also important because such partnerships and collaborations with points of entry workers, is also part of the International health Regulation 2005.
“This training is necessary and a must as it is part of the International Health Regulation 2005 (IHR2005) and the Health Security which is now included in the Solomon Islands government’s national security strategy policy framework that was recently launched”.
Mrs. McNeil congratulated all police officers who had completed their trainings reminding them that it is crucial that all IPC and PPE standards and measures are implemented 100 percent to continue ensuring the country remains protected.
“You are our first line of defence and the risks remains high when clearing arrivals abroad and vessels at the sea port. These IPC and PPE training will mitigate the risks when discharging your duties that it is critical that they be implemented and adhered to one hundred percent. It is critical also that such trainings are ongoing to ensure review of PPEs, IPCs and SOPs including rational use and PPEs”.
Similar trainings have also been conducted for other government ministries and agencies operating at the country‘s ports of entries and borderline operations. So far, a total of 53 PPE and IPC trainings have been conducted by MHMS to government and private enforcement agencies including RSIPF covering over 700 personnel.
Training involves presentations and practical applications of IPC and PPE measures and guidelines.