Disease detectives on-the-ground in Solomon Islands
Heavy rains from 3 to 5 April 2014 resulted in flash flooding in Honiara, the capital city of Solomon Islands. The Government declared a state of emergency in Honiara and the rest of Guadalcanal province. Over 52,000 people are affected across the country; many have lost their homes and livelihoods. There were 22 reported deaths.
“Now the main concern is preventing disease outbreaks. We are working closely with Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) to provide necessary support, including strengthening surveillance to rapidly detect disease outbreaks and other potential health risks related to food and water contamination,” says Audrey Aumua, Acting WHO Representative in Solomon Islands.
WHO and the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services are leading the health response, and together with development partners and other health agencies are working to ensure coordinated and effective external assistance is available where needed to save lives.
The health needs from the flooding are significant. WHO specialists are on-the-ground and are working with the Government to match the needs of the affected communities.