Swiss Doctors Start Work in Munda

For Immediate Release


MUNDA, Solomon Islands –  The husband and wife team of Dr. Erhard Ruckstuhl and Dr. Chantal Ruckstuhl-Dekumbis began their planned two-year volunteer work at Helena Goldie Hospital in July.

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Welcome reception at Helena Goldie Hospital attended by Hospital staff, United Church Reps and senior SolTuna and NFD staff.

They brought with them much needed medical equipment, supplies and technology that they sourced from generous donors in Switzerland.

Chantal Ruckstuhl-Dekumbis is a paediatric physician who worked at several women’s and children’s hospitals in Switzerland. Her husband, Erhard Ruckstuhl, an internal medicine physician, has worked in several medical centres and for an ambulance service. Ruckstuhl also taught medicine at the University of Berne.

In 2015, the doctors had visited Solomon Islands on the recommendation of Dr. Herman Oberly, a long-time friend, who was an orthopedic surgeon specialist at the National Referral Hospital during the 1990’s and early 2000’s.  Mr. Oberly had suggested that the two doctors consider serving the community in the Western Province before they transition into retirement.  

Once they had taken the decision to volunteer at Helena Goldie Hospital, they began soliciting support for medical equipment to bring with them to Solomon Islands. In response to their requests, the Swiss army donated 60 hospital beds and a mobile, self-contained resuscitation container (mini operating theatre).  Others also contributed like Dr. Erhard’s local ambulance service which donated a completely outfitted medical ambulance. Other donations included medical supplies, an electrocardiogram, portable ultrasound, spirometer, eye test computer and various surgical instruments

George Toro, Helena Goldie Hospital Secretary, has been helping the community prepare for the pair’s arrival.

“The community around Noro and Munda is growing and with it so are the community’s medical needs.  We are truly blessed to welcome Dr. Ruckstuhl and Dr. Ruckstuhl-Dekumbis to Helena Goldie. The hospital is thrilled to receive these two professionals, and we are thankful for the ambulance and generous donations of equipment and supplies. Together with the skills and experience of the Dr. Chantal Ruckstuhl-Dekumbis and Dr. Erhard Ruckstuhl, Helena Goldie Hospital will be able to do so much more.  Surely, lives will be changed.”

SolTuna is arranging for the importation of the four containers of medical equipment and ambulance when they arrive in Noro during August. NFD is providing logistics support in moving the consignment from Noro port to the hospital.  Together, NFD and SolTuna are providing financial support for the doctors.

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ABOUT NATIONAL FISHERIES DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED (NFD)

NFD is the Solomon Islands premier fishing company, operating a Solomon Island flag fleet of purse seine and pole and line vessels from the port of Noro in the Western Province. NFD supplies the tuna raw material needs of its sister company SolTuna.  NFD employs about 500 Solomon Islanders.

ABOUT SOLTUNA

SolTuna is the Solomon Islands only large-scale tuna processor.  Based in Noro, Western Province, the company produces cooked frozen tuna loins and fishmeal for export markets, and canned tuna for local, regional and international markets. Its iconic Solomon Blue brand tuna is famous in the South Pacific and is a staple in the diet of Solomon Islanders.  The company employs about 1,700 Solomon Islanders. More information can be found at http://soltuna.com.au.

ABOUT TRI MARINE

Tri Marine is a recognized leader in fishing, processing and distributing high-quality tuna products to the world’s markets. The company focuses on quality, sustainability, innovation and customer satisfaction. As a socially responsible operator, Tri Marine has chosen to invest in the communities closest to fishery resources. Tri Marine is committed to all of its customers, suppliers and stakeholders for the long term. National Fisheries Developments and SolTuna are part of the Tri Marine Global Group of Companies. For more information, visit www.trimarinegroup.com.