The new Minister of Health and Medical Services this morning joined local nurses in Honiara to commemorate International Nurses Day with a morning service at the Anglican St Barnabas Cathedral followed by an official program at the Cathedral Hall in Central Honiara.

International Nurses Day falls on 12th May each year, the anniversary of the founding mother of nursing, Florence Nightingale’s birth. It also serves as a reminder of the crucial role of nurses, who are the backbone of the healthcare system. This year’s theme is “Our Nurses Our Future; the Economic Power of Care”. As of January this year, there are1,440 nurses in the Solomon Islands, making 61% of the total workforce of the health sector, and the nation’s largest healthcare profession.

Being his first official engagement as the Health Minister, the Hon Dr Bosawai is no stranger to the medical industry. A medical doctor by profession, the nurses erupted into a resounding applause when the Minister was invited to deliver the keynote address in which he emphasized on the event’s theme.

“This year’s theme emphasizes the critical importance of nursing in shaping the future of healthcare and acknowledges the economic impact of their work. The economic power of care which creates healthy people and societies and drives healthy economies. It aims to reshape perceptions, demonstrating how strategic investment in nursing can bring considerable economic and societal benefits. The theme calls for more investment in this very important profession that continues to contribute immensely to the overall health service delivery in Solomon Islands,” said Minister Bosawai.

“Under the new Government of Unity and Transformation and as your new Minister of the MHMS, we see the need to further improve health services building on current good practices and exploring new opportunities to further progress and make meaningful and real impact in delivering health services.

“A challenge to you my good nurses of Solomon Islands, is that while government and our development partners are investing in the nursing profession, I call on nurse leaders and registered nurses to continue to be like Florence Nightingale, committing yourselves to this profession and serving our people in the name of the nursing profession,” said Hon, Minister Bosawai.

Also speaking at the program, National Head of Nursing and Chair of Solomon Islands Nursing Council Board Mr Michael Larui highlighted some areas that the government and stakeholders could consider to support the nursing profession effectively deliver health services in the country for now and the future.

“The complex demand in health care service delivery such as poor access and resource limitation justifies the need for effective nursing leadership both at the provincial and national level. Standards of practice although regulated must be permissive in order for nurses to provide care based on the service needs in the hospital as well as the rural remote. In addition, nursing practice must be aided by basic nursing care equipment and health interventions, including Primary Health Care and specialist clinical services,” said Director Larui.

World Health Organization Representative Dr Howard Sobel expressed the importance of acknowledging the work of nurses and midwives.

“It is important that we recognize the incredible contribution you provide to health services globally, regionally and here in the Solomon Islands. You are the backbone of our health system, you hold our health services together in your day-to-day professionalism and hard work in hospitals, clinics, health centers and practices around the country,” said Dr Sobel.

“Our population demographics are changing. As we live longer, many of us are getting obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and other non-communicable diseases our parents and grandparents never got. Emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19 especially threatened those of use with non-communicable diseases and other vulnerabilities; yet measles and infectious diseases still affect our children.

“All of us must recognize the huge demands you face to manage old and new diseases, to support individuals, families and communities to remain as healthy as possible, for as long as possible; Our quality of life greatly depends on our being able to live in our own homes and communities and you are so critical to provide access the health services when and where we require them,” said Dr Sobel.


– MHMS Media Release

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