Strengthening the local response to health emergencies

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Training participants of the workshop

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is preparing for the future, with training underway for health professionals to better respond to natural disasters and outbreaks.

The training, which was supported by the Australian Government and the World Health Organization, is building the skills of doctors, nurses and public health officers to respond to health emergencies. With this training, they will be able to take part in the Solomon Islands Medical Assistance Teams, called SOLMAT. These teams can be activated to respond to outbreaks, natural disasters and other health emergencies.

“This training is crucial for the wellbeing of our country,” said Dr Nemia Bainivalu, Undersecretary for Health Improvement. “In the past, we have often had to rely on overseas medical teams to come over and support us when disasters strike. But with our own local Emergency Medical Teams, we can respond more quickly and efficiently.”

“Solomon Islands is rated as one of the highest risk countries in the world when it comes to health emergencies,” said Dr Huseynova, WHO Representative to Solomon Islands. “A quick response to emergencies is often the key to preventing the spread of illness and saving lives, so WHO is very happy to support the development of local Emergency Medical Teams.”

The training, which ran for five days last week, focused on the practical and operational aspects of deploying a national level emergency medical team during an emergency. “Australian funding to this specialised training will ensure that the Solomon Islands can immediately respond to a health crisis by deploying Solomon Islander doctors, nurses, logisticians and communications specialists across the country,” said Jemma Malcolm, Second Secretary for the Australian High Commission. “Australia stands ready to assist the Solomon Islands Government a

Interactive group work during the workshop training
Interactive group work during the training

nd communities to respond to and prepare for disasters.”