Last week in Honiara the DCGA’s Malaria Roadmap was launched by His Royal Highness Prince Charles and, in a concerted effort to rid malaria from the Solomon Islands by 2050, a target date announced by the previous Prime Minister, the Hon, Rick Hou, when he spoke at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London last year, I can quite imagine much work will be needed by public health officials in delivering vaccines to the remote reaches of the country.
In Vanuatu where there is also an ongoing drive to eradicate malaria, it was reported that up to 20 percent of children missed out on getting vaccines before because of the remote areas in which they live.
The situation prompted the government to hire an Australian company to deliver much needed vaccines to remote places using drones.
I understand that with support from UNICEF, the Australian government and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a drone program began operating in Vanuatu last year and initially served three islands.
I was interested to learn more of this interested development and came across some information in the publication ‘Global Health’ and a piece by Donald G.McNeill Jr.who wrote, quote.
As drones have improved, their potential uses in global health and have rapidly increased, and many countries and charitable groups are considering them, apart from Vanuatu. I wonder whether, one day, the Solomon Islands might be able to take advantage of using drones to deliver vaccines in support of the Malaria Roadmap program.
Could Unicef and the Australian government consider helping us?