15 Sep 2004

Tongan soldiers catch malaria in Solomons

12:53 pm on 15 September 2004

Several members of the Tonga Defence Services who served with the Regional Assistance Mission in the Solomon Islands, RAMSI, contracted malaria there.

Radio Tonga reports that the acting Minister of Health, Dr. Litili 'Ofanoa, told the Legislative Assembly yesterday that the first three soldiers admitted to Vaiola Hospital have been discharged after making a full recovery.

Another two soldiers have since been admitted and are also recovering well.

They are expected to leave hospital later this week.

Dr. 'Ofanoa said a taskforce has been set up at Vaiola to monitor the conditions of the patients and the rest of the soldiers who served in the Solomon Islands.

Efforts are also underway to import malaria medication for patients whose condition may become worse.

Malaria poses no threat in Tonga because the type of mosquito which spreads the disease is not present in the country.