25 Apr 2005

Dysentery death unnecessary: Solomons medical superintendent

3:47 pm on 25 April 2005

The medical superintendent at the main hospital in Solomon Islands' capital describes the recent death there of a man from dysentery as unnecessary.

Dr Silent Tovosia says a man in his 40s was treated at the outpatients department at the national referral hospital in Honiara, but died on Saturday after going into shock.

"It's in a way, an unnecessary death. The cause of death I think in this context is not so much the fact that we do not have antibiotics. I think that it is the fact that there has been a long delay, and the fact that there has been cultural influences, like the person believes that they've been bewitched, or somebody's cast a spell on them, and so they insist to go home and try to see the custom doctor."

Dr Tovosia says there's been a rise in the number of cases of dysentery, with most patients being adults living in settlements on the outskirts of Honiara.