Health authority in Solomons threatens strike over lack of PPE

7:27 pm on 4 May 2020

A provincial health authority in Solomon Islands is threatening strike action if the national government does not provide its workers with Personal Protective Equipment.

Solomon Islands had no cases of Covid-19 but was in a State of Public Emergency as the government tried to shore up the country's already stretched health system for a potential outbreak.

A village on the beach near Auki, the capital of Malaita. Aug 2015 via wiki commons

A village on the beach near Auki, the capital of Malaita. Photo: Supplied

The Solomon Star newspaper reported the Malaita provincial health director, Henry Kako, saying the province had not received any of the equipment necessary for frontline staff to safely deal with the coronavirus.

Dr Kako said he would not risk the lives of his staff.

"I want to make it clear that without PPE my staff will not attend to any COVID-19 suspect," Dr Kako said.

"If we put our lives at risk and attend to COVID-19 suspects without the PPEs and we get sick, the whole Island will be in danger."

Dr Kako said he was also aware of strong public opposition to having PPE sent from China brought into the province.

But he said whatever was allocated to the province by the government would be used to save lives.