No more amputations due to NCDs: Lilo


The Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement (SIPRA) is promising to do away with amputations due to non-communicable diseases (NCD).

SIPRA President Gordon Darcy Lilo says there are new technologies available today which the Solomon Islands can employ to treat infected diabetic sores and avoid chopping off limbs.

“Countries such as Cuba and Israel, with whom Solomon Islands has relations, have new technology to treat diabetic foot ulcers and wounds,” Mr Lilo said.

The current common practice at the national referral hospital (NRH) to amputate infected limbs contributes hugely to many deaths of amputees, he said.

“Amputation has drastic psychological effects on the patient, which causes many to die early deaths.

“All these can be avoided if we gauge the new technologies and medication from the countries that have them and treat our NCD sufferers with,” Lilo said.

He said the previous government which did not pursue these new technologies did not have the heart for people of this country.

“Under SIPRA’s health and education policies, the next government must secure these modern technologies which will help us do away with amputations, while also advocating for healthy lifestyles,” Lilo said.

Lilo, who is a former prime minister from 2011-2014, is contesting the Central Honiara constituency seat.

He said the NRH is located in the Central Honiara constituency and once elected it will be one of his priorities to push for the country’s main medical institution will receive these new technologies to avoid unnecessary amputations.

Solomon Islands is facing a crisis with NCDs and has a high rate of amputations.

A press statement from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) on September 27 last year revealed the scale of the problem – the country ‘has the 9th highest prevalence of diabetes in the world’.

“Diabetic Foot Disease is a complication of diabetes that is causing a major impact on the lives and stories of many Solomon Island individuals, families, and communities. For many reasons, a large number of people in the Solomon Islands with (often uncontrolled) diabetes, are developing foot wounds and seeking medical assistance late, by which time their wounds are large, infected or necrotic. This often leads to acute hospital admission, surgical debridement, amputation, or death,” MHMS said.

The statement reported NRH Head of Surgery, Dr Rooney Jagilly saying, “The situation for diabetes in Solomon Islands is in a state of crisis. More than 60% of inpatients in the surgical ward have severe diabetic foot wounds and amputations.”

A World Health Organisation statement on December 20, 2023, said diabetes affects one in seven people in the Solomons.

WHO also reported that thorough washing of diabetic wounds with water and soap is emerging in some clinical centres with help from Japanese International Cooperation Agency volunteers.

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