The Minister of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) Honourable Dr. Culwick Togamana endorsed the Vaccine Preventable Diseases Regional Framework for Implementation of the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) and Framework for Safe and Affordable Surgery (SAS) in his statement this week to the 71st session of the Regional Committee for the Western Pacific, WHO’s governing body in the region.
Minister Dr. Togamana explained why endorsing the framework for implementation of the GVAP is important for the Solomon Islands. “There is nothing Solomon Islands cherishes more than our children; they represent our future, our next leaders, and in time they generate new knowledge and vision. We also recognize that good health is essential for our children to be able to achieve this full potential and to succeed in life”.
He added, “Immunization systems are cost effective and safe public health measures available therefore they need to be strengthened to withstand public health emergency and utilize good evidence to ensure we are all working together for the same disease control targets and elimination strategies. With this, we are happy to endorse this regional framework for implementation of the Global Vaccine Action Plan in the Western Pacific”, highlighted Dr. Togamana.
With endorsement of the Framework on SAS, The Minster highlighted that there is need to ensure balance between public health and clinical services. “it is important to maintain the right balance between public health and clinical services in ensuring health for all and to meet the objectives of Universal Health Coverage”, stated Dr. Togamana.
He assured of Solomon Islands commitment towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Universal Health Coverage (UHC). “Our primary health legislation, the health services act ensures that our citizens have access to free health care though delivery is costly due to the scattered-ness of the population across the islands that often results in late presentation, diagnosis and treatment of cases and the occurrence of preventable deaths”,
“With health coverage our commitment is stipulated in our national health strategic plan whilst the Role Delineation Policy is our policy framework for achieving it. The policy promotes access to quality health care services, ensuring availability of essential surgery at lower level health facilities. Our country thus welcomes and endorses the draft action framework for safe and affordable surgery in the western pacific region 2021-2030”, said Dr. Togamana.
WHO Country Representative to Solomon Islands Dr. Sevil Huseynova explained why, vaccination and surgery, were selected as priority technical areas by WHO. “Despite progress and achievements, the number of people yet to be reached for immunization remains high. Moreover, immunization service delivery is mainly child hood oriented. Recent public health emergencies in the Region reveal the urgent need to ensure that immunization systems and programmes are an integral part of strong health systems’,
“Also, access to safe and affordable surgery remains limited in the Western Pacific Region, including in Solomon Islands. Now exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, this can be addressed through shared national vision that guides the strengthening of surgical ecosystems to give attention to all elements required to deliver safe and affordable surgery, according to local contexts of Solomon Islands”, explained Dr. Huseynova.