Speaking at the occasion, Prime Minister Hou said 7th November 2018 will go down in the history of Solomon Islands, as the day when the Government and the people of this nation take the first step toward eliminating malaria by 2030.
“Each of you gathered here today (Wednesday) are part of this historic journey that we hope will deliver a malaria-free Solomon Islands 12 years from today,” he said on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister recalled seven months ago in April this year in London when he and his two counterparts; Prime Ministers from Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu pledged their support to the Asia Pacific Leaders’ Malaria Alliance (APLMA’s) 2030 goal to eliminate malaria from the Asia - Pacific region.
“I am told these three nations account for 92% of all malaria cases in the Western Pacific Region. Consequently, Asia Pacific’s ability to achieve elimination will hinge on Melanesia,” he said.
“In Solomon Islands, we can be proud of our progress. With support from our partners, we have reduced the number of cases of malaria from a hardly believable peak of 450 per thousand population in 1993, to 80 per thousand population in 2017,” he said.
The Prime Minister said with this success on the ground the country can now begin to dream of a different future.
“A future that is free of malaria. A future that follows the path achieved by other countries including China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka that have achieved zero indigenous cases.
“A future that joins the Tafea province of Vanuatu which was declared malaria-free in 2017; and, a future where the people in Solomon Islands believe and declare, we can, and we will eliminate malaria,” the Prime Minister said.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has urged participants of the two day high-level summit to develop a roadmap that will see all the provinces of Solomon Islands achieve zero malaria transmission by 2030.
“This is your collective goal over the next 2 days. This is the legacy that you must plan to achieve; a legacy we must entrust to future generations of Solomon Islands; a legacy we can all be proud to be part of; and a legacy that will result in a malaria free Solomon Islands,” he said.