Health village project launched

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The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) has launched a“Health Promoting Village Project” recently.
This is a four‐year technical cooperation project supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) targeting Guadalcanal and Makira/Ulawa provinces as the pilot areas.
Two JICA’s experts, Dr Toru Rikimaru (Chief Advisor) and Mitsuru Ohno (Project Coordinator/ Health Promotion) arrived in Honiara on 29 June and have been working closely with the Health Promotion Department of MHMS both at the national and provincial levels to support this project.
The “Health Promoting Village Project” is expected to empower people at the village level to actively participate in the process for being well aware of their health issues and taking actions to overcome those issues in the targeted areas.
This project finally aims to develop a standardized model for Health Promoting Village that enables to address inclusive health issues, such as malaria, non-communicable diseases, water and sanitation, and nutrition, in Solomon Islands.
The project manager, AlbyLovi, the Director of Health Promotion Department explained the current plan of the project as the followings.
Through the project, a new guideline of Health Promoting Village will be established based on the experiences of pilot interventions during the first half of the project period.
The operational capacity of the rural health facility’s health workers who are involved in Health Promoting Village Program will be strengthened in the two target provinces as well as the other relevant stakeholders.
At the same time the Healthy Village Promoters (HVP) will be selected from the members of the village committee in each target village and be trained to improve their capacity to support the Health Promoting Village activities.
They are expected to provide health awareness and minimum basic health services for the community as well as to take initiative in preparing the Village Action Plan and to facilitate the implementation of the Health Promoting Village program activities.
Dr Rikimaru explained “While many of the health indicators are gradually improving in Solomon Islands, some of the indicators, such as non-communicable diseases (NCDs), are getting worse.
Once people develop these chronical diseases, they need to go through treatment for a very long time or until death.
That means the cost of NCD is quite high and imposes economic burden on households and the government as a whole”.
He continues that “Nutrition issues are very much related with the incidence of NCD and healthy life of human beings.
Malaria and sanitation issues are also important target to be solved in the village level.
The project will contribute in improving the people’s health at the community level through developing a sustainable model of health promoting village”.
The project manager emphasized “Currently, MHMS adapted the National Health Strategic Plan 2016-2020” and Healthy Village approach is clearly illustrated in one of the Key Result Area under Partnership and Development.
The Healthy Village approach is focused on enabling and empowering the village people to take full ownership and responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.