To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

[P.O Box 13, Honiara, Solomon Islands/ Email: Tel:+677 7424025]

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Infant Incubator for Malu'u Clinic in North Malaita cleared from Customs and awaits trip to Malu'u

An infant incubator for Malu'u Area Health Centre in North Malaita, donated by the Medical Aid Abroad New Zealand (MAANZ) in Auckland, as a community development project by the To'abaita Authority for Research and Development(TARD) student volunteer group has been cleared from Customs in Honiara and is currently being stored for transportation to North Malaita.

The infant incubator was requested by TARD late last year after realising its potential usefulness at a rural clinic such as Malu'u Area Health Centre which serves over 20 thousand people from both the North Malaita and Lau/Baelelea Constituencies.

As a result, the infant incubator was packed and shipped from New Zealand in January and arrived in Honiara late last month. The incubator is now stored in Honiara awaiting finalisation of transportation logistics before it can be delivered to Malu'u Clinic.

An infant incubator is a vital equipment for premature babies (babies born before they are due to be born) used mainly to keep a baby's core temperature stable at 37 degree Celsius. Most incubators also humidify the air and can add extra oxygen. The core temperature of the human body needs to be kept at a constant temperature of 37 degrees Celsius. If the temperature goes too high or too low, then the organs can be damaged and illness or death can result. Premature babies have undeveloped nervous systems and also lack the energy to regulate their own temperature, so their temperature needs to be maintained by an incubator.

It is understood this assistance will enable the Malu'u Area Health Centre to possess an infant incubator for the first time since its establishment.

Last year the Medical Aid Abroad New Zealand also donated forty boxes of medical supplies to TARD, which was distributed in December 2006 to four rural clinics in North Malaita including Fo'ondo, Gwaiau, Bita'ama and Malu'u.

Therefore, TARD is very grateful towards the Medical Aid Abroad for this new health assistance to the people of North Malaita, as such relationship with renowned international organisations was never utilised in the past.

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