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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Sept. 15) – Aula and Lambi in Solomon Islands’ Guadalcanal Province have been identified as the areas with the highest malaria incidence in the world.

Speaking to Solomon Star yesterday Director Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, Bernard Bakote’e said in Lambi there are over 600 malaria cases per 1,000 people, followed by Aula with about 400 cases per 1,000 people.

"These rates are very high in Solomon Islands as well as for the world," Mr Bakote’e said.

He said in Honiara 71 deaths were recorded from malaria at the National Referral Hospital last year.

"That is only the confirmed cases at the hospital but we don’t know about those deaths that occurred in the clinics and health centres around the island," the director said.

He said severe malaria cases were also tripled last year in Guadalcanal Province.

"This is when patients were ready to die but survived due to quick medical attention," Mr Bakote’e said.

In response to this increasing number of malaria incidence in Guadalcanal, the Japanese Government is currently conducting a study to find out ways to reduce Malaria mortality rates.

Japan’s International Health Professor Kobe University of School of Medicine Kwabata Masato and Infectious Disease Control Team representative Ikeda Shunichiro are currently in Solomon Islands to compile a report on the reasons for the high malaria incidences which will signed with government authorities today to allow work to start next year.

Mr Bakote’e said some of the reasons identified for these high malaria incidences were due to people’s carelessness, awareness and nurses lack of prompt action to malaria patients.

"However, the JICA programme will be covering these areas and also train nurses on what to do when dealing with malaria patients," the director said.

However, he said all areas to be covered under the Strengthening of Malaria Control Project would be highlighted in the project’s plan of action.

"The project will start in Guadalcanal on trial bases for three years and if successful will spread to all the other provinces," Mr Bakote’e said.

September 16, 2005

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