17 Feb 2015

Remote Solomon Islanders demand health clinic

11:22 am on 17 February 2015

Residents of the tiny Solomon Island atolls of Ontong Java, in the outer Malaita Islands, are demanding the government build a health centre after a spate of deaths.

The former member for the Malaita Outer Islands in the provincial assembly, Wilson Sangahu, says ten deaths over the Christmas period could have been avoided if there was a health clinic.

He says the remote islands haven't had any form of healthcare for ten years, and people have died of diarrhoea, flu and coughs as a result.

Mr Sangahu says the closest health clinic is at Pelau Island which is a long and expensive journey using motorised outboard canoes.

A government-subsidised shipping service only travels to the islands once a month.

Solomon Islands dancers

Traditional dancers in Solomon Islands Photo: RNZ