17 Jun 2013

Community effort lowers Solomons malaria rate

3:25 pm on 17 June 2013

Strong community involvement has been key in helping a province in Solomon Islands move towards eliminating malaria.

The Ministry of Health says the number of confirmed malaria cases nationwide has dropped significantly, from 132 per 1000 people in 2007 to 44 per 1000 people in 2012.

However, Isabel Province is leading the country in its elimination efforts, with only one case per 1000 people tested in 2012.

The permanent secretary of health and medical services, Dr Lester Ross, says the success is due to vigorous efforts from the community.

"Strong support from the provincial government, from the traditional chiefs, and the third one is from the church, especially through their Mothers Union, this is the women's group that is spearheading the activities for the church, they are in all of the communities, they ensure the villages are clean, they make sure that the children and people that have malaria have their treatment and they also help in the distribution of these long lasting treated bed-nets."

Dr Lester Ross says Isabel Province hopes to eliminate malaria from the province by 2014.