17 Sep 2012

Solomons population growth one of main health challenges: WHO

6:15 pm on 17 September 2012

The World Health Organisation's representative in Solomon Islands Juliet Fleischl says rapid population growth presents the health service with one of its biggest challenges.

The WHO recently upgraded its presence in the country to the full status of a Representative Office, which Dr Fleischl attributes in part to expanded health programmes and the increased level of support donor partners such as Australia are providing.

She says the WHO also wants to provide better services to Solomon Islands but the fact that 40 percent of the population is under 15 is a huge challenge in itself.

"There has been a very good legacy from the past in some areas in provincial service delivery and delivery at the primary health care level but that hasn't grown with the changes in the population structure."

Juliet Fleischl says combatting malaria, tuberculosis and other lesser known communicable diseases such as yaws are among the WHO's priorities in Solomon Islands.