WHO supports set up of new triage centre at NRH

Essential medical supplies, procured by the World Health Organization (WHO), have been delivered to the new triage site at the National Referral Hospital (NRH), as part of Coronavirus (COVID-19) preparations by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

Triage is a process for prioritizing care for sick patients based on their needs. NRH is the designated referral hospital for severe cases of COVID-19, and triage and isolation facilities are now being established there. The equipment supplied by WHO includes stethoscopes, thermometers, masks, goggles, gowns, bed linen, pulse and blood pressure monitors, and a defibrillator.

“Triage is a critical part of the health response to an emergency. These items are essential for the operation of the new triage centre, and we are grateful to WHO for its support,” Permanent Secretary Mrs Pauline McNeil said.

The NRH COVID-19 Designated Triage Site is at the NRH Administration Building. “At the triage centre, clinical teams will assess anyone presenting with COVID-19-like symptoms. The aim is to separate potential cases from hospital outpatients, as we do not want put general out patients at risk. With this equipment, triage nurses and doctors can work effectively, while keeping themselves safe from potential infection,” Mrs McNeil said.

As yet, there is no confirmed case of the new coronavirus in Solomon Islands, giving the Ministry time to prepare for possibility of its arrival in the country. WHO has been working with the Ministry to provide technical assistance in all aspects of the health response including human resources; procuring supplies and equipment; surveillance and risk assessment at points of entry; strengthening laboratory capacity; advising on clinical management and infection prevention and control; and supporting risk communication.

“WHO is supporting the Ministry with access to the latest global technical advice to help prepare for COVID-19, as well as expertise in Solomon Islands,” WHO Country Representative Dr Sevil Huseynova said.

“The supplies handed over today to MHMS follow on from the personal protective equipment we delivered a few weeks ago. We are working hard to source additional equipment at a time of high demand from all countries, and we appreciate the funding support of Australian DFAT. We will continue our efforts to support Solomon Islands at this challenging time.”

 In the meantime, MHMS and WHO are encouraging everyone to:

  • Wash their hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer if it is available
  • Keep at least one metre away from others – avoid shaking hands, kissing or hugging
  • Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue or your elbow, and
  • Stay informed: visit www.facebook/officialmhmssi , and www.solomons.gov.sb

For more information contact MHMS Media Officer Dian Maggie Row on email, [email protected] or phone: 25205.