9 Oct 2009

Malaria incidence down in Melanesia

4:10 pm on 9 October 2009

A regional meeting in Tonga has heard that the incidence of malaria in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu has been drastically reduced.

The SIBC reports the Secretariat of the Pacific Community public health director Bill Par as saying there were 50,000 fewer cases of malaria in Solomon Islands in 2008 compared with 2003.

He says an effective prevention and control strategy comprising of insecticide treated bed-net distribution, indoor residual spraying, early diagnosis and treatment and active case detention has had dramatic impact on the annual incidence rate of malaria in both countries.

Mr Parr says both countries have now been able to move from control to pilot elimination.

He says the significant decrease in the number of malaria cases in Solomon Islands has eased the burden on the national health system and budget.