New Manual to Improve Women Healthcare

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Representatives from the Australian Volunteer Program, NRH, MHMS, WHO and the Australian High Commission with the new Standard Treatment Manual.

A new Standard Treatment Manual for Obstetrics and Gynaecology was recently launched at the National Referral Hospital in Honiara.

The manual was made available through a partnership between Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services and Australia Government to improve healthcare for women in country.

The manual is a pocket-sized reference guide for nurses, midwives and doctors, which will help improve the quality of healthcare for women across the country. It will be used in all types of health facilities, from rural clinics to larger hospitals. The manual is also available via a smartphone app, allowing every healthcare worker across Solomon Islands to access a copy.

Australian volunteer, Dr Rebecca Mitchell, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, assisted the team at the National Referral Hospital in developing the manual.

The World Health Organisation and Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) also provided technical input.

Dr Mitchell credited the success of the final product to the involvement, dedication and passion of the O&G staff at the National Referral Hospital.

“The manual was developed by local Doctors and Midwives for local healthcare workers, therefore it contains relevant Solomon Islands health information.”

Dr Mitchell volunteered at the National Referral Hospital in 2017 as part of the Solomon Islands Graduate Intern Supervision and Support Project (SIGISSP), which places skilled medical professionals in Solomon Islands to supervise, train and assess new medical graduates.

Julie McCallum, Counsellor for Human Development at the Australian High Commission said Australian volunteers like Dr Mitchell had been supporting Solomon Islands for more than 50 years.

“Almost 800 Australians have volunteered their skills and expertise in Solomon Islands since the 1960s, and there are more than 20 volunteers in the country today,” Julie said.

“The launch of the Standard Treatment Manual for Obstetrics and Gynaecology is an example of both the strengths and importance of Australian volunteers: how they build relationships, work in partnership with Solomon Islands counterparts, and deliver better outcomes for the community.”

Dr Leanne Panisi, Head of Department – Obstetrics and Gynaecology praised the assistance from the program.

“This critical new resource will have a tangible impact on the quality of medical treatment in Solomon Islands, and I commend the work of Dr Mitchell and other volunteers for their ongoing support and commitment to improving health care and health systems in Solomon Islands.”

SIGISSP is a partnership between the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services, the National Referral Hospital, and the Australian High Commission, and leverages off the Australian Volunteers Program, administered by AVI.