12 Oct 2009

Vanuatu community praised for efforts in cutting incidence of malaria

7:43 pm on 12 October 2009

Vanuatu's manager for malaria control says community awareness has played a big part in the successful drop of malaria cases in the country.

The mosquito-borne illness is endemic to many parts of Vanuatu, where the incidence has dropped from 190 sufferers in every 1000 in 1989 to just 14 last year.

George Taleo says health officials are distributing insecticide sprayed bednets to communities, spraying people's homes and have better diagnosis and treatment available.

But he says the public is playing a big part in stopping the spread of the illness.

"They are being educated by educational material that we develop; there are teams calling around the provinces, villages and communities to do that. We also put measures to the radio that communicate it to the people."

George Taleo.

Vanuatu is now moving from controlling the illness to eliminating it, hoping to have almost no cases in 20 or so years.