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Two pediatricians handle 400 births a month

By Eddie Osifelo HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 6, 2010) – In the Solomon Islands, Doctors at the Honiara’s National Referral Hospital (NRH) are worried about the population increase in the country.

This is due to the population growth rate of approximately 3.5 percent per annum.

For example, in the first six months of 2009 alone, the NRH experienced 3,508 admissions to the post natal ward, an increase of 75 percent.

According to the Parliament’s Special Selects Committee report into the services of NRH, this increase is unprecedented, and has not been matched by any commensurate increase in funding for the hospital.

The report said such pressures have serious implications for the level of service at the NRH.

Dr. Titus Nasi from the Pediatric Department when appearing before the Committee said: "Looking at the numbers 47 percent of the population is under 15 years and that comes under pediatrics, so if you take Solomon Islands 600,000 that’s about 300,000. 280,000 kids under the age of 15 years."

He said that’s quite a lot for two pediatricians to manage.

"We have a birth rate at 3 percent some years ago, probably its 2.8 percent, 2.9 percent.

"So you expect about 16,000 babies throughout the country per year," he said.

"And as they said in the National Referral Hospital we have two years ago its probably 300 babies, now we have more than 400 babies coming out every month like they have mention.

"So you have 5,000 kids coming out of NRH in one year," he said.

Dr. Nasi said at NRH the children’s mortality in general accounts for 45 percent of the kids that die at the National referral hospital.

"That’s from last year’s numbers, so we have the mortality in the wards," he said.

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