HONIARA, Solomon Islands – This week, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) launched a National Measles Vaccination Campaign to control the current outbreak in Solomon Islands.
The campaign’s aim is to vaccinate all Solomon Islanders aged 6 months to 30 years against measles, excluding pregnant women.
Over 600 cases were reported to the National Surveillance Unit at the end of August 2014. There have also been two measles-related deaths in children under three months.
“We need to control the outbreak,” said Dr. Tenneth Dalipanda, Undersecretary of Health Improvement. “The best way of doing this is through vaccination.”
The nationwide campaign started in Honiara, the focus of the outbreak, this week and will be rolled out in the other provinces once more vaccines arrive in country over the next few weeks.
“We are prioritising Honiara because it is where most of the reported cases are from. If we reduce the spread of disease in Honiara, we believe there will be less of an impact in the provinces,” said Dr. Dalipanda.
There are eight satellite clinics set up around Honiara (in addition to the eight Honiara health clinics) giving free measles vaccinations to people aged 6 months to 30 years. The satellite clinics are open every day from 9:30am to 3:00pm. They are located at the Art Gallery, Burns Creek Field, Kobito Community Hall, Kukum Field, Lawson Tama Field, Panatina FOPA village, Rove Police Club, and White River School.
“People aged above 30 years are not part of the target population because most have already had measles and are unable to get it again,” added Dr. Dalipanda.
The National Measles Vaccination Campaign is being supported by WHO, UNICEF, GAVI Alliance and partners.
MHMS reminds all aged 6 months to 30 years in Honiara to get vaccinated against measles today.
- If you or your child is aged 6 months to 30 years of age, go to one of the eight satellite clinics in Honiara or your health clinic for a measles vaccine. The satellite clinics are located at: Art Gallery, Burns Creek Community Field, Kobito Community Hall, Kukum Field, Lawson Tama Field, Panatina FOPA village, Rove Police Club, and White River School.
- If your child received their first dose of the measles vaccine more than one month ago, take them to a clinic for a second dose.
- The vaccine is free, safe and effective; the best protection against measles.
- If you have symptoms of measles (high fever, rash on face and body, runny nose, red eyes) visit your health clinic and keep away from others.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Mr. Adrian Leamana
Deputy Director & Media Officer
MHMS Health Promotion Department