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It was reported today, Wednesday, that the World Bank has committed $US20m to Papua New Guinea in health assistance for the country’s Covid-19 response.
An emergency project approved for PNG would deliver a new laboratory in Port Moresby, testing equipment, personal protective equipment for health staff and public education tools.
It is said the assistance should ease pressure on a government facing protests from health workers in some provinces about a lack of resourcing, protective equipment and training to cope with the pandemic.
With a population over 8 million, PNG’s health system has struggled to provide medical care in many parts of the country.
Now at least some of them would be in line for masks, goggles, gloves and gowns;
PNG would also get much needed supplies for infection prevention such as isolation units, incinerators for waste disposal; critical intensive care equipment including ventilators and oxygen flow regulators.
PNG’s Prime Minister James Marape said the emergency project would be of vital help at a time when all countries were facing an unprecedented crisis which required multi-lateral efforts.
A release from the World Bank said the new commitment was part of a wider package of World Bank support to address some of PNG’s most pressing health challenges.
The World Bank has said it will announce Covid-19 response projects for other Pacific countries in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, in relation to the fight against the potential threat of coronavirus, the Solomon Islands Minister of Health and Medical Services, Dickson Mua has said any work to prevent the potential entry of the COVID-19 into the country must be done now, not later.
Minister Mua said following the activation of the National Disaster Operational Committee (NDOC) Health Committee which supported by the Solomon Islands office of the World Health Organisation and Technical assistance brought by the Australian Government, his ministry had developed its COVID-19 Preparedness and Responds operational plan.
Minister Mua has explained that the COVID-19 operation plan articulated a whole of government approach in three different phases.
“In phase one, the plan covers prevention and preparedness, phase two deals with response activities that needs to be undertaken if there’s a confirm COVID-19 case in the country and phase three covers the activities that needs to be taken in relation to recovery and capacity building if the virus does finds its way into the country,” he said.
“Our focus today is obviously in completing activities required under the preparedness phase which involves the identification of commands, control structures and reporting mechanisms.
“It also includes preparation of plans and standard operating procedures, training for clinical and non-clinical staff including frontline workers at points of entry, ensuring resources are ready and available and monitoring through enhance surveillance activities. All of these things have been happening,” Minister Mua reportedly said.
The Minister said he thanked New Zealand and the Peoples Republic of China who had come on board to provide support in recognition of the scale of potential situation that have to be confronted.
In a separate development in the ongoing efforts to combat coronavirus, the SIG took delivery of a new portable x-ray machines last Friday, donated by the New Zealand government.
The National Referral Hospital’s new portable x-ray machine was loaded onto a flight chartered by the United States.
The x-ray machine is one part of a package of support that New Zealand is providing to Solomon Islands as part of its COVID-19 emergency preparations.
The supply of the portable x-ray machines is important for the Solomon Islands in its fight against COVID-19.
The national referral hospital’s imaging department will play an increasingly important role in managing any patients infected with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Today, Wednesday, “Supplies donated by China are safe” said the PRC’s representative, Counselor in Honiara, Yao Ming.
Mr. Ming made this re -assurance following local speculation that China’s medical supplies are not safe and have defects.
In an interview Counselor Ming said the medical supplies donated by the government of China are safe and secure.
He reiterated the supplies were a gift from the PRC to Solomon Islands and are donated in kind.
News sources. Radio New Zealand, Solomon Star newspaper and Solomon Times on Line.