30 Apr 2007

Health officers keeping disease in check among Solomon Islanders affected by tsunami

3:31 pm on 30 April 2007

Health and medical officers have managed to restrict the spread of malaria and other diseases among Solomon Islanders affected by the tsunami in Western province earlier this month.

Fears were high of an outbreak of cholera, typhoid, diarrhoea and malaria immediately following the big earthquake and tsunami on April 2nd which killed 52 people and left thousands homeless in Western and Choiseul provinces.

However a Western Province government member, Danny Kennedy, says health authorities have worked hard to keep those diseases in check.

He says international agencies such as UNICEF and the World Health Organisation have assisted the local health teams in swiftly establishing measures like immunisation programmes.

"Everyone's sleeping under impregnated mosquito nets and they've embarked on a very intensive spraying programme to keep the mosquitos down and in actual fact, the doctor told me last night that malaria cases have actually dropped dramatically since these events, so all of those diseases which you'd expect afterwards to spread very rapidly throughout the camps... they're actually really patting themselves on the back saying keep up the good work but things are under control at the moment."

Danny Kennedy