US Congratulates Solomon Islands as Country Prepares to Observe Independence Day
Quoting Solomon Times – 6 July 2020
“The United States (US) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent his government’s well wishes as the country prepares to mark its Independence Day tomorrow.
“On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I congratulate the people of Solomon Islands as you celebrate your National Day on July 7.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic means the commemorations will be different this year, the United States looks forward to beginning another year of friendship with Solomon Islands,” the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a prepared statement.
“Our partnership continues to grow as we engage in more cultural and professional exchanges, expand our security cooperation, and execute on our development assistance commitments.
“The announcement late last year of the re-opening of a Peace Corps program in Solomon Islands is a testament to the strength of our relationship and long history of shared values,” Mr. Pompeo added."
Copyright @ 2020, Solomon Times.
7 July 2020
Australia spending $US6 million on a project to tackle drug resistant tuberculosis in Pacific countries.
Radio New Zealand carried a news bulletin today, Monday, 7 July 2020, saying Australia is spending almost $US6 million on a project to tackle drug resistant tuberculosis in Pacific countries.
The four year project started in June and will also see training provided in six Pacific states.
The World Health Organisation estimates about 10 million people contract TB each year, with nearly 60 percent of new cases occurring in the Indo-Pacific region.
About half of the funding is aimed at Kiribati, where every person in Tarawa with TB over the age of two would be treated.
Kiribati’s Health Minister, Greg Hunt, said it complemented work already done to detect TB in the region.
Mr Hunt said also said the project reinforced Australia's commitment to supporting its Pacific neighbours and has the potential to save thousands of lives.
Source: Radio New Zealand.
The incidence of tuberculosis (per 100,000 people) in Solomon Islands was reported at 74 in 2018, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources.
5 July 2020
Solomon Islands: Better supplying the MOHMS with equipment and treatment options.
In another of Jeremy Gwao’s moving pieces in today’s Solomon Times, he tells the story of a patient who would wish to see the Solomon Islands Medical Health Services better equipped and able to treat patients suffering from cancer and other serious illnesses.
On the eve of the country’s 42nd year of independence, I have the same concerns despite the dedicated doctors, nurses and health professionals of the MOHMS who are regularly working under pressure but lacking the many diagnostic and treatment options available in offshore hospitals and specialist medical centres.
It is reported that in 2018, the latest figures available, 331 persons died of cancer in the Solomons.
In the same year, the WHO reported 504 people were diagnosed with cancer in the Solomon Islands.
I have often made mention of my concern over the incidences of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD’s) occurring in the Solomons and the measures needed in the community to reduce the risk of NCD’s by following a proper diet, by having regular exercise and reducing or stopping, smoking and consuming alcohol.
Perhaps the most serious impact of NCD’s is contracting diabetes and, as we know, one of the leading causes of hospitalization and surgical leg amputations at the National Referral Hospital (NRH).
While I try to gain help for amputees with appeals (and recently responded to by the FSA with a donation of 300 metal crutches) and by trying to obtain a facility to replace the now demolished Rehabilitation Workshop at the NRH, I have much concern for the care and treatment of patients suffering from diabetic foot complications and at risk of losing a leg.
It is for such reasons that I previously wrote about a Cuban product called Heberprot-P.
This product containing recombinant human epidermal growth factor for peri- and intra-lesional infiltration; evidence reveals it accelerates healing of deep and complex ulcers, both ischemic and neuropathic, and reduces diabetes-related amputations.
Clinical trials of Heberprot-P in patients with diabetic foot ulcers have shown that repeated local infiltration of this product can enhance healing of chronic wounds safely and efficaciously.
As a result, Heberprot-P was registered in Cuba in 2006, and in 2007 was included in the National Basic Medications List and approved for marketing. It has been registered in 15 other countries, enabling treatment of more than 100,000 patients.
Heberprot-P is a unique therapy for the most complicated and recalcitrant chronic wounds usually associated with high amputation risk. Local injection in complex diabetic wounds has demonstrated a favorable risk-benefit ratio by speeding healing, reducing recurrences and attenuating amputation risk.
My understanding is Heberprot-P is not available in the Solomon Islands although I believe it was initially assessed by two doctors of the MOHMS but more assessments are considered essential on the cost effectiveness and safety of the product.
A recent Slovakian study is quoted as saying:
Cost-effectiveness of Heberprot-P has never been presented in any previous publications. However, generalizability of main conclusions is limited. Heberprot-P has not been evaluated by the European Medicines Agency, therefore high level uncertainty related to clinical effectiveness and safety of Heberprot-P need to be emphasized. In addition, heterogeneity of good wound care in different countries or regions represents an important limitation in the transferability of results to other jurisdictions.”
I really do hope further testing and deployment worldwide of Heberprot-P will go ahead soon to provide an opportunity to further assess the product's potential to address the important unmet medical need in the Solomon Islands.
Makira still waiting for cyclone relief three months on
Quoting Radio New Zealand – 6 July 2020
“Villagers on Makira in Solomon Islands are reportedly still waiting for relief supplies after April's Cyclone Harold.
“The Solomon Star reported villages in the Haununu district on the island's remote Weathercoast had lost food gardens and staple banana crops.
“Chief Hudson Haotai said the only crop to survive the storm was swamp taro, or Kakake, which was now running out.
“Meanwhile, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, Melchior Mataki, has told the Star that relief supplies for Makira were due to be loaded over past couple of days.
“Director of the National Disaster Management Office Loti Yates also confirmed the distribution of relief supplies was in progress.
“In April, Mr Yates told RNZ Pacific his office was stretched dealing with both the Covid-19 State of Emergency and Cyclone Harold.”
Copyright © 2020, Radio New Zealand
INCIDENCES OF CANCER IN THE SOLOMON ISLANDS
Quoting an article in the Solomon Times – 5 July 2020
“According to the WHO Solomon Islands Global Cancer Observatory, 504 people were diagnosed with cancer in 2018.
“200 were male while 304 were female. 331 died of cancer alone in Solomon Islands in 2018.
Copyright @ 2020, Solomon Times.