Thursday, 2 October 2008 2:38 PM

Cases of Malaria Decline

It has been revealed that Malaria cases in the country have recently gone on a decline.

This was confirmed by Luke Honiola, the Malaria Program Officer for the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

According to him, cases of Malaria recorded in 2003 were 198 out of 1000 people. For 2007 the cases had dropped to 128 for every 1000 people.

"The drop by 36.4% was due to the various stakeholders working together to implement the Vector Borne Disease Control Programme of the Ministry of Health...this involves the distribution of Mosquito nets in Honiara and the Provinces," he said.

Mr. Honiola said that since 2006 more than 261,507 insecticides treated mosquito bed nets have been made available to households and well over 60,376 homes have been sprayed in Solomon Islands.

Mr. Honiola said that they are also working at introducing a new medicine to treat Malaria. The new treatment is known as malaria artemisinin - based combination therapy (ACT), which is highly recommended by the WHO, "and is currently used by some of the clinics in Honiara already on severe cases".

He stated that with the new introductory to malaria treatment the chloroquine treatment will be phased out.

Malaria is spread by a parasite in the blood that is carried by female mosquitoes and transferred to a new host human each time the mosquito bites a human and feasts on their blood. Malaria is most common in countries with a large poverty rate because there is more standing water in which the insects can breed and less resources to properly prevent or treat malaria.

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