Wednesday, 21 November 2012 10:50 AM

Project Targets Public Health in Rural Schools

Water tanks and toilets are being installed in rural schools to improve public health thanks to a national partnership with AusAID, World Vision and ADRA.

Australia's High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Matt Anderson, says this has given access to clean water and basic sanitation services to an additional 3,800 households.

Twelve schools were also connected to improved sanitation facilities last year.

Australia is providing $675 million Solomon dollars over the next four years to assist the Solomon Islands Government improve health services in Solomon Islands.

Dr. Jagadeesh Nellore, a policy expert on public health, says sanitation continues to be one of the key health issues in the developing world.

"2.5 billion people, over a third of the world's population, lack access to adequate sanitation facilities, perpetuating disease and high rates of child mortality," he says.

Dr. Nellore says this puts a strain on governments that already face a multitude of developmental challenges.

"In order to address diseases that are largely preventable, stakeholders most focus on achieving access to basic sanitation...this must be addressed at its early stages, when it is still manageable."

Australia has indicated that it will fund an additional $72 million Solomon dollars for rural water, sanitation and hygiene services. The government has also indicated that it will increase budgetary support.

###TIME###