The Solomon Islands is one of Australia’s closest countries and has collaborated with MCRI on innovative research programs to find new and effective ways to eliminate scabies. Surveys conducted during research found about 19% of the population had scabies at the time of the survey. Similar to findings in neighbouring Pacific Island countries, the rate of scabies is higher among children and infants; between 34% and 45% scabies prevalence among children aged 5 to 9 years old.
The World Scabies Program (WSP) in the Solomon Islands is working to strengthen the local and national health system capacity for the control of scabies country wide. WSP works in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health and medical services and other partners working in Solomon Islands. More specifically, a large cohort of local Solomon Island health staff will be trained in the identification and management of scabies infestations. Where possible WSP works to integrate and coordinate with other Neglected Tropical Disease (NTDs) activities in the country to establish a streamlined and efficient approach to tackling multiple diseases in the community.
World Scabies Program Solomon Islands Team
From left to right: Johnina Huniehu (MDA Officer), Julie Zinihite (WSP Country Representative), Ayleen Sosopu (MDA Officer) and Vianney Alebua (MDA Officer)
The WSP Solomon Islands national scabies baseline prevalence survey is now completed!
In Solomon Islands, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and WHO, over 9,000 people of all ages were examined across the provinces as part of the first ever national scabies baseline prevalence survey. A two-stage random cluster-sample methodology was used, randomly selecting villages or urban areas followed by a random selection of households.
Nine teams, including a nurse, a skin examiner, a driver and a local guide, trekked through jungles and travelled hours in boats to reach communities all over the country. The survey was positively received by communities, especially as the teams provided treatment to residents with scabies in very remote areas. Communities in the highlands of one province expressed gratitude for being selected to be part of the survey as the community rarely gets the opportunity to participate in health programs, highlighting the challenges with access to health care.