Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock stand in great appreciation to the government of India for providing over 2 million worth of medicines and agricultural seeds.
The medicines comprised anti-viral drugs for COVID-19 patients, anti-bacterial, vitamin supplements, anti-diarrhoea, asthmatic and anaemia drugs, drugs for scabies and personal protective equipment, and face masks.
The seeds on the other hand are Lentil seeds, edible legumes, or root crops with the potential for commercial farming. Lentils also have a number of health benefits for the heart, blood, and digestive system and possess important ingredients to stabilize blood sugar, bolster energy and help with weight loss.
Friday last week, Dr. Gregory Jilini, Health Permanent Secretary Supervising and Deputy Secretary Health Care, Dr. Yogesh Choudhri, Health senior advisor, Mr. Michael Ho’ota Deputy Secretary Technical and Mr. Martin Jaiki, Director Supervising Research Department, from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) gathered at the National Medical Store to receive the items.
Dr Jilini, upon receiving the medicines thanked the government and people of India for the medicines stating that it will greatly help with current efforts to replenish stocks of medicines at national and provincial level.
“In our efforts to maintain stock levels of medicines across the country, there are challenges faced some within our control whilst others such as delays with shipment, are out of our reach. Hence this stock of medicines received is greatly appreciated.
The medications delivered also include the COVID-19 drug, Molnupiravir Capsules, approved by the National Drugs and Therapeutic Committee for use in-country.
“Though our COVID-19 situation has improved, the reopening of our borders, means incoming travellers head straight home after clearance at the airport without quarantining, therefore presents risk of increased COVID-19 infections, and thus we must be prepared by all means to treat severe to critical COVID-19 patients ensuring we don’t lose anymore lives to COVID-19. Thank you India for the wonderful support”, stated Dr Jilini.
Mrs Ethel Frances also echoed similar sentiments of thanks to the government of India stating that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock have been trying to source the lentil seeds since last year to assess its viability for commercial farming in Solomon Islands, however, due to import protocols and COVID-19 restrictions MAL was not able to source them last year.As these are introduced into the country the ministry will conduct trials for their suitability before they can be introduced to farmers.
The potential for partnership with the government of India to provide technical assistance to support the ministry introduce this new crop was discussed between the Permanent Secretary Ms Ethel Frances with the new Indian non-resident High Commissioner. The Permanent Secretary was encouraged by the positive assurances by his excellency to consider this request.
“This is a new initiative the former Indian non-resident High Commissioner discussed with our Prime Minister Sogavare who is keen to see this introduced to Solomon Islands because of its market potentials and the Ministry is committed to make it a reality” said PS Frances.
-Joint Press from MAL and MHMS
PHOTO CAPTION: (L – R) Mr. Michael Ho’ota DS Technical, MAL; Mr Martin Jaiki, Director Supervising Research, MAL; Dr Gregory Jilini, Deputy Secretary Health Care and Supervising PS, MHMS and Dr Yogesh Choudhri, Senior Health Advisor. Part of the medicines and boxes of seeds in the middle. PHOTO SUPPLIED.