This article was originally published by the Solomon Islands Government.
A Six days workshop with the aim to empower and enable the communities of East, Central and West Honiara on how to response and mitigate public health issues by providing simple structural guidance with knowledge and skills within Honiara City that commenced Tuesday 11th July and successful completed on the 18th July 2023.
Honiara City Council (HCC) Health Promotion Department (HPD) conducted the workshop with support from the National Health Promotion Department Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS). The workshop was funded by the USAID meeting Targets and Maintaining Epidemic Control American Rescue Plan Act Project Solomon Islands through the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). Participants to the workshop included church representatives and community leaders from the Eastern, Central and Western parts of Honiara.
National Health Promotion Director, Mr. Adrian Leamana stated the training is important because post training, participants are expected to gain more knowledge and obtain simple guide on their roles and responsibilities in their communities better understand the structural links between the communities with the Health system and relevant partners on how to work better together to timely mitigate health issues affecting communities. Empowering communities is crucial because community leaders play very important roles to prevent, protect and promote health in the communities.
“From past experiences Honiara always have high chances of been affected by any diseases outbreak that occurs. Thus, this workshop is very important for the participants to discuss, and share ideas together on how to establish a good workable network system that enable us to proactively and timely respond in sharing correct information to assist in making the right decisions and action”, said Leamana.
The SPC Clinical Services Programme Adviser, Dr. Lamour Hansell, explained that USAID, SPC and implementing partners FHI360 continues to work in close coordination with the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health to support health communication campaign strategies, Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) and the vaccine cold chain. This is to increase knowledge and build capacity of health care workers, stakeholders and communities to manage health emergencies, COVID-19, and any other future potential outbreaks.
“The project also provides assistance to strengthen health information systems through reporting, strengthening data collection and data flow at health facilities”.
“Overall objective is to “reduce morbidity and mortality from outbreaks, mitigate transmission, and strengthen health systems to respond to pandemic threats”, Dr Hansell said.
Meanwhile, Honiara City Council, Councilor and Health Standing Committee Chairman, Hon. Reginald Ngati encouraged the participants to grasp every given opportunity to share, listen and most importantly learn and make a difference through response and mitigate public health issues.