Solomon Islands schools prepare to reopen after COVID-19 outbreak

Staff preparing care kits in Solomon Islands. Photo: Caritas Australia Solomon Islands.

Schools in the Solomon Islands will reopen for the first time this year after a major COVID-19 outbreak delayed the start of the school year by more than five months.  

Despite being COVID-free for much of 2020 and 2021, the Solomon Islands has experienced widespread transmission since January this year, with more than 18,000 cases recorded.  

As the Solomon Islands battles this new wave of community transmission, the most vulnerable risk being left behind. Just over 20% of the population have been fully vaccinated, leaving many of the most vulnerable people in the community at risk of serious illness. 

The Solomon Islands, like its neighbouring Pacific countries, has basic and limited health infrastructure, with 374 heath units spread over more than 900 islands, many of which are very remote.  It also experiences a shortage of health workers, with few services outside the major population centres.  

There is currently only one doctor per 4,212 patients, which is more than four times the minimum ratio recommended by the WHO. 
With your support, Caritas Australia Solomon Islands (CASI) is working together with church-run schools to make sure they provide a COVID-safe environment for students to return to.  

CASI is assisting schools in complying with the minimum health requirement for re-opening through the provision of School Care Kits. Each kit contains thermometers, sanitation and disinfection items, disposable face masks, first aid and education materials. Schools will also be provided with Face Mask Production Kits, including sewing machines and cloth materials, so that they can produce their own face masks.   

Care kits ready in Solomon Islands. Photo: Caritas Australia Solomon Islands.

In addition to these kits, your support will also help supply materials to install and improve handwashing facilities in schools and repair and construct quarantine facilities in schools.  

Over the next few months, CASI is aiming to reach 7,500 people through this project. Your generosity is vital in helping CASI reach the most vulnerable during this pandemic through the following activities:  

Provision of Care Kits

to people living with a disability

Support women and youth groups

in various churches to upscale the production of face masks

Strengthen COVID-19 prevention and protocol awareness

by disseminating risk communication materials