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Solomon Islands covid-19 vaccine country Health Immunic Solomonic UPS Solomon Islands

In the Solomon Islands, many rivers to cross

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It takes two days’ journey at least from Honiara, capital of the Solomon Islands, to reach the mountain village of Kuvamiti to provide and deliver routine health care and immunization for the people who live and work there.

Supply efforts and logistics were even more arduous during the COVID-19 pandemic. A COVID-19 vaccination team driver and his colleague were nearly lost to strong undersurface river currents late last year near Kuvamiti.There are no bridges on this journey over more than 20 rivers.Instead those taking the path to Kuvamiti from the capital on the island of Guadalcanal must either range through by auto or wade across the waters.

As shown in this photo essay from a field vaccination and health care expedition in May 2023 by a Guadalcanal Province team— supported by UNICEF, WHO and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance—it’s worth it.

The people who live in the hill country around Kuvamiti make it so. Some of them walk for hours to meet the team on its rounds.17 May 2023.Sam the driver faces the river, again.Photo: © WHO / Neil NuiaDrivers, nurses, and the islanders themselves in the Solomons travel rugged terrain and open water, overcoming risk and fatigue, to deliver vital health care.

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