Solomon Islands
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Health Responds to “Blood Supply Crisis”

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) has released a statement to reassure the public over the “Blood Supply Crisis” raised through various media platforms.

Dr George Malefoasi, National Referral Hospital (NRH), Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in response stated that a new fridge was installed on Wednesday, 12th 2023.

“A new fridge was installed immediately in the morning the next day, and two new ones are being donated by Michael Leong and Pacific Crown Hotel. The old fridge had been repaired twice previously, so steps have already been taken to replace it before it finally stopped working”, said Dr Malefoasi.

Dr Malefoasi confirmed the malfunction of the blood bank fridge occurred Tuesday night and damaged 150 blood bags which had already been discarded.

Apart from the150- damaged blood bag, the hospital also has a small standby fridge with a reserved 50 blood bags. The hospital also have back up plans to utilize the National Medical Stores cold chain storage, thus posing no immediate risk to patients. 

“A blood donation drive has gone out and should be back soon with more stock to replace the 150 blood bags. PRC Chinese Medical Team will also donate new equipment for blood bank with a specially made blood bank fridge. This will make up a total of four fridges; a big improvement indeed and the hospital are grateful for that”, reassured CEO Malefoasi.

He said the hospital runs millions of dollars’ worth of equipment both specialized and general.

“All are prone for wear and tear… and its often operational responsibility to monitor, fix and replace equipments. This is just one of our operations faults our maintenance and biomedical teams fix”, said Dr Malefoasi.

Despite the fact that NRH have standby generators in place, it also exploring the installation of power transformers or UBSs Power Backup to protect our specialised equipment from the ongoing outages of power that, we are currently experiencing, because it poses risk to our equipments especially old equipment and facilities.

Dr Malefoasi added there is an Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) team from the John James Foundation team operating with NRH team and the situation is controlled and managed.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Pauline McNeil stated MHMS understand the concerns raised, but has indicated that the ministry had already acted upon it and the matter has been resolved.

Source: Press Release, Ministry of Health and Medical Services