Tuesday, 9 September 2008 2:12 PM

Acute Respiratory Infections High in Solomon Islands

According to the latest estimated figures of the Ministry of Health, the Acute Respiratory Infections tops the list as the main disease Solomon Islanders are suffering more from.

Dr. William Adu-Krow, Country Liaison Officer for World Health Organization Solomon Islands, mentioned that apparently there are no concrete figures for deaths in the country, and this remains an "area that we will have to work on."

The Acute Respiratory Infections accounts for 23% of diseases and Malaria comes in second with16%. Fever of unknown origin accounts for 14%, Skin disease 4%, Ear Infections 3%, Diarrhea diseases 2%, Red Eye 2%, Yaws 2%, STI's account for 1% and other diseases stand at 34%.

The Acute Respiratory Infections or also known as the Flu is normally transmitted through droplets spread from one person to another by coughing or sneezing. The symptoms begin with fever (above 38°C) and dry cough, and often progresses to pneumonia.

A nurse working at the National Referral Hospital stated that the rise in the cases is mainly due to the sudden changes in the weather and the dusty roads around Honiara.

Dr. William Adu-Krow mentioned that with a strengthened laboratory capacity and participate actively in the laboratory network in Solomon Islands the communicable disease can be controlled. Currently the WHO is supporting countries regionally with limited laboratory capacities.

Meanwhile, Dr. Adu-Krow also mentioned that Diabetes under the umbrella of non-communicable diseases is on the increase. This is fueled by a high prevalence of obesity as well.