28 Apr 2020

Malaria outbreak in Vanuatu province affected by TC Harold

8:25 am on 28 April 2020

Vanuatu Health authorities have another challenge to deal with after a local outbreak of malaria in Sola, which is in the northern province of Torba following Tropical Cyclone Harold.

The nation is coping with Covid-19 measures as well as devastation caused by the category five cyclone Harold.

Torba province covers the islands of Torres and Banks far north of Vanuatu.

Director of public health, Dr Len Tarivonda confirmed that there are eight cases of malaria reported in Sola area and they are dealing with.

"Our fear is that if it continues to spread, so we are addressing the issue, with our local team in Sola, with the assistance of the local government are doing all they can to address the issue," he said.

"We have already sent some supplies and we will look into how we assist them over the next few days."

Dr Tarivonda said there are often outbreaks of diseases following a cyclone, diseases such as dengue, malaria, diarrhoeal diseseas, leptospirosis and others.

But he said Torba province often has very low levels of malaria, and it's the province next to Torba that health authorities were hoping to eliminate malaria.