Thursday, 7 April 2011 9:29 AM

Australia Committed to a Healthier Solomon Islands

Australian High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr Frank Ingruber, today reaffirmed Australia's support for a healthy Solomon Islands.

On the occasion of World Health Day, Mr Ingruber said that the theme of 'fighting drug resistance' is as important for Solomon Islands as it is for Australia and other countries in the region.

"The message from health authorities is that the medicines we all take when we are sick will not work if we don't take them properly," Mr Ingruber said.

"Medicines must be treated with respect so that they are effective now and in the future."

Australia currently provides the Solomon Islands Government with well over half the funding it requires each year for drugs and medicines.

Mr Ingruber said that chloroquine was a very good example of an effective drug that no longer worked against malaria because of drug resistance.

"Studies have shown that the malaria parasite has become resistant to chloroquine and so we have to find another drug to use," Mr Ingruber said.

"Australia, through partners like Global Fund, is helping the Solomon Islands Government to distribute new and more effective treatments to replace chloroquine."

"People get sick and need to take medicines, but we all bear the responsibility to use drugs and medicines properly and to take them according to the instructions set out by doctors and pharmacists."

Mr Ingruber said that Australia will continue to support the Solomon Islands Government to provide medicines to its people and to promote healthier lives.

"World Health Day provides a unique opportunity for communities from across the world to come together for one day to promote actions that can improve public health."

Mr Ingruber said that Australia, together with other donor partners, is focused on supporting Solomon Islands to make progress towards health-related Millennium Development Goals.

"Australia is helping Solomon Islanders install clean water supplies, build clinics, control malaria, improve maternal and child health, and support the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to respond to the health demands of people across the country. A stronger health system will benefit people and their families throughout their lives."