Malaria cases in Solomon Islands decline

Dr. Lester Ross, Solomon Islands' permanent secretary of health and medical services, announced to a Joint Review Team from the World Health Organization on Monday that malaria cases in the Solomon Islands have dropped significantly.

Malaria is a disease responsible for thousands of illness around the world and results in nearly 800,000 deaths each year. The disease is spread by mosquitos who pass the parasite onto humans when they draw blood.

The drastic drop in cases of malaria in the Solomon Islands is due in part to the efforts of the Ministry of Health's National Vector Borne Disease Control Program over the past five years.

The team from the WHO and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services conducted a comprehensive review using the findings from the program. The results showed that confirmed cases of malaria have dropped from 132 per 1000 in 2007 to 44 per 1000 in 2012.

"This three-fold reduction is a remarkable progress which shows the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program has made remarkable progress in its malaria control efforts," Ross said.

The results also showed that the Isabel Province is leading all the other provinces across the country in its malaria elimination efforts, with only 1 per 1000 having malaria in 2012.