Solutions pa Marovo - Health Services Development Program
Healthcare is the fundamental right of every human being. The harsh reality is that much of the developing world receives a fraction of the healthcare received by the average Australian. Despite efforts by the international community many areas of the developing world are moving backwards. The Marovo Lagoon is one of these areas. Observations over the last 6 years indicate that many diseases and illnesses are on the increase. The public health implications of these trends will become increasingly significant as these diseases reach critical infection levels.
The Solomon Islands Ministry of Health depends heavily on local and international partners to assist their efforts to provide quality healthcare services to its population. The cost of providing healthcare services to this increasingly sick population is on the rise. Not treating manageable, chronic, and acute diseases causes the required level of care, and corresponding cost of treatment, to increase exponentially. Intervention and education are the only way to curb this trend.
The biggest barrier to healthcare in the Solomon Islands is affordable access to care. The Solomon Islands and more specifically the Marovo Lagoon has an extremely geographically disperse population.
Medical Zone 4 (Marovo Lagoon) has a population of 17,000 people scattered across an area 105km long and 25km wide (2,653km2), with over 100 islands all separated by large areas of open water. This means that the majority of the population live a long way from a health center, making access to care, difficult, expensive, and often dangerous.
Similarly providing support, personnel and resources to these healthcare centres is extremely expensive and difficult for the Ministry of Health.
There is no Doctor placed in Medical Zone 4 (Marovo Lagoon). The highest level of healthcare professional is a Registered Nurse. To access a Doctor is a difficult, long and expensive process.
The result of the high cost and difficulty in accessing care is that many people simply do not get assessed and treated. The Marovo Lagoon is a very cash poor region. Unless a person understands their ailment to be life threatening they generally just endure the pain and suffering. Consequently their condition deteriorates and at times these people will unnecessarily pass away.
Similarly the local health professionals who work in the area are very isolated. Extreme conditions, little resources, and little support make their jobs extremely difficult. Seghe Area Health Centre ('SAHC'), is a community owned health care facility which receives assistance from Local & International NGO's, Local Businesses, Communities and the Solomon Island Government.
Aims: The Health Services Development Program works in a number of areas to improve the level of healthcare available to the isolated and under supported areas of the Marovo Lagoon. This project aims to directly intervene in the health system to alleviate unnecessary suffering and death by providing access quality health services, a fundamental right of all humans.
Project Development: this participatory process is carried out by Seghe AHC Area Supervisor, Marovo Medical Foundation Chief Medical Officer and Solutions pa Marovo, prior to each of the outlined activities.
Direct Medical Intervention: implemented in conjunction with Seghe Area Health Centre, the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and local businesses. This activity is conducted on a bi-annual basis. During this program a team of local and international healthcare professionals, travel around the Marovo Lagoon for two weeks. This tour takes Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists, Lab Technicians and medicines directly to the people. This alleviates the danger and financial hardship associated with accessing care, and provides healthcare in an accessible location. These medical tours treat 1,000 – 1,400 patients (8% of the population) per tour.
Approximately 200 of these patients have a chronic disease that is managed by the Marovo Medical Tours.
Simultaneous to the Clinical Tours there is a surgical team performing essential surgical services at Seghe AHC. This team utilises a western standard Operating Theatre which was build by Solutions pa Marovo and Marovo Medical Foundation in 2013. On average there are 50 general surgical interventions made per tour.
These tours are attended by experienced professionals, who have vast knowledge and experience in the local area.
Healthcare Education: It is widely recognised that prevention is better cure. Additional to this, management of chronic disease by diet (where possible), is better then reliance on medicine for control. With this in mind the Marovo Medical Tours contain a large educational component.
Health Professional Development: In order for there to be an ongoing impact from this program the professionals who look after the community year round must be supported and developed to improve the level of care they can provide. During the Marovo Medical Tours members of the local healthcare community participate and interact with the visiting team. It is during this time that members of the Marovo Medical Team carry out training and skills updates with the local health professionals. Depending on the type of training, this may be carried out on tour or at Seghe AHC. Training is carried out by experts in their field on a small group or one on one basis. The level of training that is carried out is decided in consultation with the Nursing Areas Supervisor to ensure it is addressing the most relevant areas. This training is designed on a per trip basis based on the availability of specific trainers and the identified areas of need.
Institutional Support: Healthcare professionals require certain equipment and resources in order to provide quality care. This program uses observations and consultation from the Marovo Medical Team to determine crucial areas of these community owned health facilities that require assistance. By targeting specific areas of need that are identified are not supported by the government, the program is able to maximize the benefits and ensure interventions are not doubling up with the efforts of other entities. This is a collaborative activity between the Community Health Officer, Nursing Area Supervisor andSolutions pa Marovo.
Can you help?
If you wish to know more details about the Health Development Program and how you might participate or help please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for more details. Alternatively take the opportunity to discuss it on your next visit to Uepi.
We welcome your support in fact we depend upon it.
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