BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
THE Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) commemorated World Malaria Day yesterday through dissemination of information to the public about important work of the Vector Borne Disease and Control Programme (VBDCP) at both national and provincial levels.
With this year’s celebration the VBDCP highlighted great achievements related to addressing vector borne disease globally and challenges the organisation faced throughout the years.
The National VBDCP director, Mr Albino Bobogare said, “Although we are continuously making achievements, there is still a lot of work to be done before we can eliminate malaria in Solomon Islands.”
Bobogare said there was substantial improvement in data coverage and completeness during 2017 as a result of the full roll-out of the VBDCP’s data collection programme.
He said such data allows the MHMS to ascertain whether confirmed malaria cases are being treated correctly according to the national guidelines.
The programme continues to assist provinces that are yet struggling to achieve timely entry of records as a result of poor internet connectivity.
The programme is placing additional emphasis now on developing simple web-based tools that will provide near-instant analysis and reporting at provincial and sub-provincial levels.
This information is crucial to ensuring that the VBDCP can respond to problem areas appropriately.
These achievements are significant, however the public also needs to make changes to keep the malaria cases down, Bobogare said.
He urges public to use mosquito nets properly as directed by health workers as to reduce mosquito bites at night, and strongly emphasises the importance of cleaning our surroundings, covering all storage containers, and ensuring drainage are not blocked with rubbish or other wastes.
Besides that, he advises people diagnosed with malaria to complete their dosage as directed.
“With the MHMS and the public working together, we can move in the right direction towards eliminating malaria in our country,” Bobogare said.