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Malaria elimination in Solomon Islands

August 20, 2012

Foreign Minister Bob Carr at the Tulagi Hospital in the Solomon Islands (Photograph: Erin Gleeson)

Australia will aim for the long-term elimination of malaria in the Solomon Islands, starting with delivery of an additional $14.75 million over four years for treated bed nets, mosquito spraying and community education, Foreign Minister Bob Carr said on August 18.

Speaking from Tulagi Hospital in the Solomons Central Province, Senator Carr said Australian assistance had already prevented 77,000 cases of malaria since 2003.

“We’re delivering practical measures to fight this preventable, yet potentially fatal disease,” Senator Carr said.

“This new funding would cover treated mosquito nets for beds, spraying programs and community education, particularly for children and pregnant women.

“Australian aid has already reduced malaria incidence in the Solomon Islands from 199 cases per 1000 people ten years ago, to just 46 cases per 1000 people today.

“Over the next four years we’re aiming for further major reductions in the Solomon Islands malaria rate, reducing the burden on hospitals like Tulagi and helping save local lives.

“And in the longer term we’ll be working towards elimination of malaria in Solomon Islands communities.”

Australia’s additional four-year anti-malaria funding in the Solomon Islands would commence later in 2012.

Australia would also host a regional anti-malaria conference in Sydney from October 31 to November 2, 2012, to better co-ordinate Asia-Pacific campaigns to fight the disease.

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