Ureparapara calls for a full-time registered nurse
People on Ureparapara Island in the Banks group of islands in Torba Province are calling for a full-time registered nurse to be based in the island’s only medical clinic.
Speaking to VBTC Torba, the Community Liaison Officer for Ureparapara Area Council, Nox Lilip, says since last year the clinic on the island has been operating without a full-time registered nurse.
Mr Lilip says the only nurse working in the dispensary left last year.
“We had a Solomon Islander nurse working in the dispensary but because of some issues, the nurse left and is now working in Santo,” he said.
“When the nurse left, we experienced an increase in the number of deaths on the island. Most of the deaths were of people 30 to 50 years of age.
“This is why I am raising this issue – we need a full-time registered nurse based in our island’s dispensary.”
Mr Lilip wants health authorities to take action, and says the location of the island’s only clinic also needs consideration because accessing health services on the island is very difficult.
“Most of the residents of Ureparapara live at Divers Bay in the south of the island and the clinic is located on the north western side of the island which is four hours away,” he said.
“With very poor road conditions it is very hard for many people to get to the clinic to get treatment.
“Getting to the clinic by sea is also a big challenge because the docking area faces the open sea and this makes it difficult for people to get there.”
The Community Liaison Officer also said the lack of access to secondary schooling is another big problem the islanders face.
He says, “There is a high number of school dropouts on our island because there is no secondary school here.”
Mr Lilip is calling on the Ministry of Education and Training to reinstate Years Seven and Eight at Shem Roley School the only school on the island.
Torba Province has only one secondary school which is located on Vanualava Island and Mr Lilip says many of the children studying there have found it hard to leave their parents to attend school.
Ureparapara is the third largest island in the Banks group of islands in Torba Province and has a population of 400.