Today I announce that Australia will continue its partnership with  Solomon Islands to deliver better health services and improve access to maternal and child healthcare, essential medicines, immunisations and malaria control across the country.

Australia will support preventative health measures such as family planning, nutrition, reducing tobacco and alcohol consumption and sanitation.  We will target our funding to make sure that improved health services reach people living in rural and remote areas across Solomon Islands.

The Government will provide up to $66 million over the next four years to support these key strategic health priorities in Solomon Islands. This Australian aid represents an investment in the future of the Indo-Pacific by contributing to health security for the whole region, including Australia.

Australia’s ongoing support is contributing to substantial improvements in the delivery of health services in Solomon Islands. The number of malaria cases has declined by 35 per cent since 2010 and the availability of essential medicines at rural health clinics has significantly improved.

I am particularly impressed that Solomon Islands’ infant mortality rate has reduced by almost half since 2010 and 89 per cent of births are now attended by a trained health worker.

During my visit to Solomon Islands today I will see first-hand the positive impact of Australia’s support for health services at the National Medical Stores in Ranadi.

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