MHMS Launches National Medical Stores Renovation and Office Expansion Project

MHMS Launches National Medical Stores Renovation and Office Expansion Project


The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) officially launched the  National Medical Stores Renovation and Office Expansion Project in Honiara yesterday.

The project was funded by the World Bank through its COVID-19 Emergency Response Project to ensure the facility remains adequate and up to standard.

Speaking at the launch, Minister of Health and Medical Services, Dr. Paul Bosawai said that the improvement of the medical store is important to effectively deliver health services throughout the country.

Minister of Health and Medical Services, Hon. Dr Paul Bosawai.

” Having a storage facility that is maintained at a standard with adequate storage space for normal times and during emergency’s, a well functioning cooling system and a proper office complex for staff are all critically important to the overall health service that we provide for our people across Solomon Islands,” he said.

The development of the project came about when the impacts of COVID-19 challenged the country’s health system, which also affected the storage of medicines and medical supplies at the Medical Store.

National Medical Store Manager, Wesley Kukutu explained that the pressure on their storage system eventually increased during the pandemic.

” This building was completed in 1996. At that time the technical advice that was given was that the storage would cater for the population of Solomon Islands in terms of medical supplies for 15 years, because the population at that time was just more than 300,000. Now we are more than 700,000 so we are currently 13 years past that life space.”

” The pressure of the storage gradually increased and a lot of it can be seen during the pandemic which huge donations came in from all our development partners . The medical store then was not able to apply good storage practices meaning it could not properly control its inventory,  and there were risks to the quality of medicines,” he said.

Minister Bosawai  stated that  the situation eventually led to dialogues between the Ministry of Health,  the Ministry of Finance, and the World Bank.

Funding was then  secured from World bank through the Fast Track Covid-19 Response program for the COVID-19 Emergency Response Project at an amount of USD13 million.

Site tour inside the National Medical Store facility yesterday.

The renovation and improvement of the National Medical Store, valued at SBD6.9 million, is part of the health system’s component of the project.

Dr. Bosawai said it is a significant investment that the government truly appreciates.

“So when the COVID-19 pandemic was a challenge to the health system, it provided the silver lining of opportunities to strengthen and improve our health system and health services.”

Renovation works and construction of the project was conducted by local contractor, JED Enterprises within a year.

Part of extensions at the National Medical Store.

With its completion, Dr. Bosawai said the project will address some of the issues faced by the National Medical Store including the cooling system, office space constraints, and the need for major renovations since its establishment.

Meanwhile, World Bank Country Director for Papua New Guinea and the Pacific, Stephen Ndegwa, encouraged the government and stakeholders to continue supporting health infrastructure in the country.

“We were very delighted that this project, while it started as an emergency COVID-19 response project, moved into a system-strengthening project, and the medical services infrastructure is a key part of strengthening the broad medical infrastructure in the country,” Ndegwa said.

He also acknowledged the support of the International Development Association (IDA) in financing this kind of support, which was a key part of the global multi-faceted response to COVID-19.


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