In response to the latest request, Dr Padmasiri (Pad) Eswara Aratchige, a senior technical officer based at NCIRS, has been deployed to the Solomon Islands to support immunisation services delivery in the country.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted routine immunisation programs in a number of Pacific island countries. As part of this deployment, Pad will work as an immunisation advisor supporting the MHMS in the continued rollout of both COVID-19 vaccines and routine vaccines in the Solomon Islands.
Upon his arrival in the Solomon Islands, Pad said, “It is a privilege to be working in-country with the Ministry staff, collaborators from Australia and other partners to support the COVID-19 vaccination rollout and routine immunisation programs in the Solomon Islands.” NCIRS is Australia's national centre of excellence in immunisation research and surveillance, providing expert advice on all aspects of vaccine preventable diseases and other issues related to immunisation, to inform policy and planning for immunisation services.
NCIRS has played a key role in supporting Australia's COVID-19 response and vaccination strategy. NCIRS also hosts the Australian Regional Immunisation Alliance (ARIA), a consortium of more than 20 researchers and partner organisations that is providing technical and capacity-building support in the Indo-Pacific region, including for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Support for Pad’s deployment is provided through a partnership with the Australian Government's Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security (CHS) for the Australian Expert Technical Assistance Program for Regional COVID-19 Vaccine Access: Policy, Planning and Implementation (AETAP-PPI) as part of the Australian Government’s Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative (VAHSI).
Banner photo: Introduction to Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) From left to right: Jenny Anga (MHMS), Dr Sarah Habu (MHMS), Eleanor Doig (DFAT) and Zina Ferfera (DFAT).
Portrait Photo: Dr Padmasiri Eswara Aratchige