IT is currently the peak time for Malaria transmission.
Solomon Islands has one of the highest rates of Malaria in the Pacific Region, according to a 2018 report by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Transmission rates of malaria are one of the key challenges to meeting the health targets the SIG has committed to in the Sustainable Development Goals and also poses great obstacles to the vision of the Strategic plan of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) 2016 to 2020, that:
“The People of the Solomon Islands will be Healthy, Happy, and Productive.”
One exciting initiative by the MHMS and Australian partners is working on improving the form of medicinal treatment offered to Solomon Islanders.
The two most common types of malaria parasite found in the Solomon Islands are Plasmodium vivax (P.v) and Plasmodium falciparum (P.f).
They are prevalent in both towns and rural areas.
For over a year, in Guale, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI), based in Melbourne, Australia, in conjunction with MHMS, and more directly the National Vector Bourne Disease Control Division (NVBDCD), have been running treatment and data collection activities through the ACT-Radical Study.
The ACT-Radical Study involves a lengthy follow-up period of 6 months for each patient, measuring relapse rates of both P.v and P.f malaria and ensuring that all patients involved in the study maintain a good level of overall health.
The project has so far screened and treated more than 500 patients, and has over 300 people enrolled in their ongoing study.
It is the largest of its type within Guadalcanal province that focuses purely on the treatment and analysis of patient health.
With the help of Good Samaritan Hospital (GSH) and the Guadalcanal Council Health Provision (GCHP), the ACT-Radical Study has so far been hailed a great success.
A major outcome of the Study has been further investigation and greater understanding of the G6PD genome; a genome which can negatively affect a patient, when certain, common, malarial treatments are prescribed by local clinics to patients who are deficient.
WEHI and the MHMS look forward to further investigating this element and continuing the high level of quality care for the people of Guadalcanal Province.