First Scabies National Prevalence Survey in Kiribati

Thursday, November 23, 2023 - 12:00 PM

The World Scabies Program, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, recently conducted the first scabies national prevalence survey in Kiribati. This survey utilised the methodology and training program developed for previous WSP prevalence surveys in Solomon Islands and Fiji, with minor modifications to suit local geography and cultural practices.

Local nursing staff were trained as skin examiners to identify suspected scabies lesions and bacterial skin infection in typical exposed sites on the body. Responses were recorded electronically on REDCap on supplied hand-held devices.

Over 10,000 people of all ages were examined from randomly selected households across 10 districts, including 5 outer islands, over a 3-week period. The survey teams found scabies and bacterial skin infection to be problematic for many communities, reinforcing the urgent need for a scabies control program in Kiribati. Analysis of data is underway, and results will be available in early 2024.

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