13 Oct 2009

Vanuatu and Solomons drastically reduce malaria cases

1:01 pm on 13 October 2009

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community says Vanuatu and Solomon Islands are now moving from controlling malaria to eliminating it.

The mosquito-borne illness is endemic in all parts of the Solomons and in many parts of Vanuatu.

In Solomon Islands, 82 people out of 1000 suffered from malaria last year, compared to 152 in 2006, while in Vanuatu cases dropped from 36 three years ago, to 14 last year.

The Secretariat's public health programme manager, Dr Thierry Jubeau, says the two countries are now focussing on wiping out the illness step by step.

"The pilot would begin in one province in the Solomons. Definitely it's about 3 interventions. Extensive coverage of mosquito nets, scaling up the diagnostic coverage and access to the treatment, and strengthening surveillance. These are the three pillars of elimination."

Thierry Jubeau says the Solomons will start with the elimination in Temotu province and Vanuatu in Tefoa province.