BY MIKE TUA
THE Deputy Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Manasseh Maelanga described the 17th Pacific Partnership Mission 2022 in the country as a tremendous success during the official closing ceremony on board the U.S. Naval Hospital Ship Mercy on Saturday.
In his keynote address at the official closing ceremony to mark the end of this year’s Pacific Partnership Mission in the country, Hon. Manasseh Maelanga said he is delighted to say that the Pacific Partnership Mission 2022 has been a tremendous success.
He said the mission has touched the lives of our people from the mission’s services that include, medical, surgery, dental, veterinary, infrastructure, human capacity building, economy, etc. by the expert team from the USNS Mercy over the past two weeks.
“The provision of additional services by the team from Mercy has been of tremendous support to our health services. There have reduced the waiting list for a multitude of surgeries and they have done more dental examinations that our services can’t provide.
“The mission has touched the lives and improved the health of many Solomon Islanders- it has empowered our health professionals including medical maintenance and repair of our medical equipment’s – it has reduced waiting list of people surgeries; it has brought smiles to the faces of our children and most importantly it has created genuine partnerships between our people.
“The engagements undertaken by the Mercy’s multi-disciplinary teams through this PPM22 demonstrate the unlimited value such genuine level of cooperation between our countries can deliver to our people,” the Deputy Prime Minister of Solomon Islands said.
He said that the local business community has benefited greatly from the mission.
“Our local carvers, weavers including other handicraft makers in the country have confirmed that they have made tremendous sales.
“Some restaurants and bars have reported large increases in their revenue in the past 10 days.
“The Pacific Partnership mission has truly lifted the lives of our people; it has also injected life into our local economy – thank you,” Hon. Maelanga said.
He said the arrival of the Pacific Partnership mission to our shores also brought smiles and unity to many communities and individuals through their outreach program, the music band performs our famous local song, ‘morning star’ which was liked and shared on social media.
“This type of exercise also transforms and further strengthens our national disaster response and relief operations capabilities through sharing of skills and knowledge to our agencies; the mission has added value to the country’s disaster management arrangements,” he added.
Hon Maelanga also reiterated the call made by the country’s Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare for the Pacific Partnership Mission to please return with another mission in 2023.
“On behalf of the government and people of Solomon Islands, I convey to you, Mission Commander, Captain Henry Kim and your team of professionals on the USNS Navy hospital Mercy and through you to the government of the United States of America, the sincere and heartfelt appreciations of our great nation of Solomon Islands and its people for the tremendous services you have kindly provided during this mission.”