The nationwide Mass Drug Administration (MDA) a program that aims to treat everyone with scabies medicine that commenced last year in Honiara and across the provinces, have again commenced in Honiara City on Wednesday 16 and will complete 29 August.

The implementing partners; National Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) unit and the World Scabies Program (WSP) aim to treat all residentials of Honiara City with the high coverage to ensure ongoing transmission of scabies is under control.

The key objective of the repeat MDA is to increase treatment coverage in Honiara City by targeting communities (settlements and residential areas) that recorded lower treatment coverage during the 2022 national MDA.

Honiara City Council Health team (Nurses and health promotion officers) will facilitate and rollout the MDA programme.

Mr. Oliver Sokana, Program Manager, National Neglected Tropical Disease, Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) explained during the MDA there are two doses of medicine to be taken by everyone, including young babies and the old people.

“Those who are not able to take the tablets, can be given 5% Permethrin skin cream that can be applied to the whole body. Everyone should take the medicines, even if you took the medicines in 2022 or you do not have any signs of symptoms of scabies you still can take the medicine to prevent yourself from scabies as well as to protect your children and other family members in your household and communities.

"It is important that everyone in Honiara take the medicines so we can get rid of scabies in our city. High treatment coverage will not just beneficial to Honiara residence alone but will contribute to the national preparation of the ministry of health towards the upcoming SPG where visitors to Honiara (both national and abroad) will no longer be at risk of scabies transmission”, said Mr. Sokana.

Meanwhile, the National NDT unit and WSP on Tuesday 8 August had successfully conducted a one-day MDA Refresher training for clinic supervisors and managers of Honiara City Health team at the MHMS headquarters.

The participants of the refresher training had the opportunity to learn about key information related to scabies control including the cause, sources of transmission and updated treatment regimens. Why MDA is important to scabies control and identifying key strategies that could lead to achieving high treatment coverage was among the important sessions during the training.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services acknowledges the kind support of Murdoch Children's Research Institute in rolling out this national programme.

Source: MHMS Media