4 Jun 2014

Hygiene urged in Solomons following outbreak

2:00 pm on 4 June 2014

The Red Cross in Solomon Islands is preparing to boost efforts to tackle a diarrhoea outbreak which has left at least 16 children dead in the past two weeks.

The Ministry of Health in Solomon Islands says the outbreaks due to the rotavirus have affected more than 1,000 people.

Outbreaks of the disease have been reported in six provinces, including Guadalcanal, Western Province, Choiseul, Malaita, Central and Makira.

A sanitation engineer with the Red Cross in the Solomons, Anna Zarkovich, says it has hygiene promotion teams ready to go.

She says she has heard of 19 deaths mostly children under 5.

"There's a definite need for hygiene promotion, for carrying out education to those communities that have been affected about ways to stop the spread of the disease."

Anna Zarkovich says the disease is transmitted by touching.