Measles alert - Solomon Star News

Measles alert

16 November 2019

THE Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) is on alert in the wake of the measles outbreak in a number of Pacific Island countries.

Health officials say they are now conducting a mass immunization campaign of children under six years, increased surveillance for the disease at ports and airports, and information for travelers entering and leaving the country, among other measures.

Measles outbreaks have been reported in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and the Philippines. 

During the last measles outbreak in Solomon Islands in 2014, more than 4,600 people contracted the disease and nine lives were lost.

 “Children are most at risk during a measles outbreak,” Permanent Secretary for Health, Pauline McNeil said.

“Through routine immunisation over the last three years, most children in Solomon Islands will be protected, but we cannot afford to be complacent,” she added.

 “Considering how close these countries are to Solomon Islands, and that the holiday season is approaching, it’s increasingly likely that measles will occur here,” she added.

“We want to reassure people that we are preparing for that possibility.”