1 April 2016
Australia injects SBD 24 million to improve health outcomes in Solomon Islands
Australia has provided a further SBD 24 million (AUD$4 million) to the Solomon Islands Government earmarked to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, as part of its ongoing commitment to improving access to quality basic health care for all Solomon Islanders.
Australian High Commissioner Andrew Byrne said Australia is proud to be working in partnership with the Government to improve health outcomes for Solomon Islanders.
“Australian funds will help deliver health services to Solomon Islanders across a range of areas such as maternal and child health, medicine, hospital medical equipment, treatment of illness, water and sanitation,” said High Commissioner Byrne.
“Fewer mothers are dying in childbirth, and more children are surviving past their fifth birthday. The maternal mortality rate has reduced by two thirds and the child mortality rate has reduced by half over the last decade. Immunisation has risen by 20 percent and measles immunisation is now at 95 percent of the population.”
Australia’s continuous support since 2003 has helped to significantly reduce the numbers of people suffering from malaria, and has also increased the availability of essential medicines. The number of malaria cases and resulting deaths have declined by 75 per cent since 2003. The availability of essential medicines at rural health clinics improved from less than 40 per cent in 2007 to 75 per cent in 2015.
“Importantly, 40 per cent of all Australian funds are earmarked for the provinces to support hospitals and rural health clinics performing lifesaving primary health care,” said High Commissioner Byrne.
This payment was made under the Health Sector Support Program as budget support to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services. Australia is providing up to SBD 500 million (AUD $80 million) over 4 years (2012 – 2016) to support the Solomon Islands Government achieve its national health objectives, under the National Health Strategic Plan.
Australia has also been working with Solomon Islands on innovative ways to tackle increasing malnutrition and anaemia in women and children. Under an innovative public private partnership for food fortification, Delite Flour Mill has commenced fortification of wheat flour with six essential vitamins and minerals in 2015. Rice fortification is expected to start later this year.