5 Apr 2007

Quake-hit Solomons province in need of hospital care

3:54 pm on 5 April 2007

The provincial government in Solomon Islands Western Province says the need for hospital facilities is becoming increasingly important as the aid effort picks up speed.

The premier says the injured from other areas are now being brought to Gizo for treatment but with the hospital there destroyed on Monday, they have nowhere to put these people.

Alex Lokopio says they are relying on the one or two tents they have put up in the hills.

"Now, the New Zealand army, which arrived yesterday, are here. They set up a few more toilets and tents for the sick people. But, you know, we can do this for the time being, but this problem will continue for some time so we really need to build the proper shelter and the maybe toilets and where the people can live and have good food - things like that. At this time it is very very difficult."

Mr Lokopio says he has ask the prime minister to request that Australia and New Zealand send their mobile hospitals.

Our correspondent in Gizo, Richard Toke, says the worst of the injured are being airlifted to hospital in Honiara.