BY DESMOND RAHE
THE National Referral Hospital (NRH) has a growing reputation as having one of the highest admission rates of Non-Communicable Disease (NCDs) cases in the country.
The emergence of modern unhealthy diets, climate change and other environmental factors that influence unhealthy lifestyles and behaviors has dramatically impacted the health of locals in the country.
The Minister of Health and Medical Services, Honourable (MP) Dickson Mua highlighted in his opening speech at the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony to cement the partnership between the Ministry of Health and the five mainstream churches in the Solomon Islands, the current status of NCDs at the NRH in Honiara.
“Let me take this moment to highlight some of the key facts and put into perspective the seriousness of this issue, “Hon. Mua said.
He said at the National Referral Hospital about 70-80% of beds in the surgical and medical wards are fully occupied by NCD cases alone.
“This means that out of every 10 beds, 7 to 8 beds are occupied by patients with NCD. The number of amputations at the National Referral Hospital due to diabetes is between 3 to 5 cases per week.
“On a monthly basis, this implies that there are 12 to 20 patients being amputated,” Minister of Health said.
He said based on the 2018 statistics from the Ministry; they experience one case of a stroke every 3 days, and one case of heart attack every 2 to 3 days.
“Sometimes, there is almost a case of stroke or heart attack every day. These serious statistics seriously indicated that we fail to prevent and control NCD in the Solomon Islands.”
“Church partners and friends, business, as usual, is not an option anymore in addressing NCDs in this country,” Hon. Mua said.
Hon. Mua said his Ministry is now more determined than ever to address the situation and strengthen preventative measures at all levels and amongst all stakeholders.
“We need our strategic partners like the Churches to help us with this.
“The Ministry of Health needs everybody to work together to fight against NCDs, as the Ministry of Health cannot achieve this alone,” he expressed.
Hon. Mua reminded churches, friends, and colleagues about the significant dilemma and challenges burdening our health system.
“Like other countries in this part of the world in the Pacific, Solomon Islands is experiencing rapid growth and a shift in diseases from communicable to non-communicable disease (NCD).
“NCDs such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and chronic respiratory illness currently account for approximately 70% of all deaths.
“Unfortunately, these rates are expected to increase even further putting additional strain on our health system and economy,” the Health Minister said.