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Atoifi researchers to facilitate research workshop in Fiji

Mr Humpress Harrington, Head of Atoifi Campus of Pacific Adventist University (PAU) and Atoifi Health Research Group (AHRG) researcher, will co-facilitate a community-based research workshop at the Creating Futures Conference in Suva, Fiji. Humpress is currently undertaking his PhD at James Cook University (JCU) where he is investigating relevant research capacity strengthening models for health research in the Pacific.

Humpress will join Dr Michelle Redman-MacLaren (CQUniversity Centre for Indigenous Health Equity Research and AHRG), Dr Narayan Gopalkrishnan (JCU) and Dr Anaseini Silatolu (Ministry of Health, Fiji) to facilitate an interactive research Workshop. The team will draw on the 'learn-by-doing' model of community-based research used in Solomon Islands.

Participants in the Workshop will explore how research can be mutually beneficial, as outlined in the paper published by AHRG members, "Mutual research capacity strengthening: a qualitative study of two-way partnerships in public health research". You can read this article for free here: https://equityhealthj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-9276-11-79

In addition to Humpress and Michelle's contribution, James Asugeni, Mental Health Nurse, AHRG member and Lecturer, PAU-Atoifi campus, has been invited to be a cultural adviser during the Creating Futures Conference.

For more information about Creating Futures 2017 to be held in September, please visit: http://www.cairnsinstitute.jcu.edu.au/dialogue/conferences/cf17/

Using Rapid Diagnostic Tests for Yaws and Syphilis in remote clinics in East Malaita – what do health workers think?

Story by Tommy Esau, Research Worker

Last week the Atoifi Health Research Team visited four clinics in East Malaita to collect the data from Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) for Syphilis and Yaws and to interview people about their experience in using RDTs in four clinics – Gounabusu, A`arei, Nafinua and Atoifi hospital in East Kwaio. The research team was led by James Asugeni, and included Hillary Toloka and Tommy Esau.

The purpose of the study was to access the acceptability, feasibility and cost effectiveness of using this test kit in the Solomon Islands. For two days the team visited the clinics to collect data and talk with the health workers and patients about the RDT test that has been trial during 2016 and 2017.

Most clinics visited described the RDTs for Yaws and Syphilis as being a very useful test for remote clinics where health facilities are limited. A health worker from Nafinua stated that “the test is cost- effective compared to what we have experienced before; where you have to wait for a long time, and usually takes a long process before result can be available. But this one as soon as you do the test result is available.” Another health worker from Namola`ela`e clinic also stated that the new test was good for patients and clinics and should be rolled out in other remote clinics in Solomon Islands.

For more information about this study, please contact Rowena Asugeni, Director of Research, Atoifi Adventist Hospital rowenaasugeni[at]gmail.com or Dr Jason Diau, Chief Medical Officer at Atoifi Adventist Hospital jaseydiau[at]gmail.com

Photo: Hillary Toloka (L) and James Asugeni (R) meet with Susan, Nurse, Gounabusu clinic

Starting them young! Enthusiastic kids help with mosquito survey at Atoifi

Enthusiastic children of Atoifi hospital staff have helped members of the Atoifi Health Research Group to conduct a simple mosquito larva survey around the Atoifi hospital campus. Last week, these young ‘researchers’ ran all over the Atoifi campus to find mosquito larvae in old containers, pot plants, coconut shells, and tanks. The mosquito larva were then collected by research team members into a secure bottle.

Why collect mosquito larvae? Over the past few months several thousand people across Solomon Islands have become sick with dengue fever. Mosquitoes pass the dengue virus from one person to another, but it is only a few types of mosquitoes that can pass the dengue virus between people. Because of this, it is important to know what types of mosquitoes live in different places to help know who might be at risk of dengue.

The mosquito larvae have been sent to the Vector Born Disease laboratory in the Ministry of Health and Medical Service in Honiara for further examination. We are looking forward to the results to find out if the special mosquito that can pass dengue is present on the Atoifi hospital campus. Stay tuned!

For more information about the dengue work at Atoifi Hospital, please email: humpress.harrington[at]gmail.com

Hookworm research findings from Malaita now published

Although hookworm is highly prevalent in the Solomon Islands, the species of hookworm is not always known. Hookworm disease disease causes iron deficiency anemia and malnutrition, leading to illness in pregnant women and children.

A group of researchers, including Atoifi Health Research Group researchers Dr Richard Bradbury, CQUniversity, Mr Humpress Harrington, Pacific Adventist University, and Late Professor Rick Speare, conducted a community-based hookworm study in response to community requests. In an article published in the journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases, researchers report a high prevalence of hookworm in some areas, the type of hookworms people have and that that hookworm control programs in Solomon Islands would benefit from considering a One Health approach, because, to be successful, these programs may have to control hookworms in humans, dogs, and cats simultaneously.

To read the article in full, please visit: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/23/2/16-0822_article

For more information about the STH work, or the Atoifi Health Research Group, please email: Mr Humpress Harrington humpress.harrington@gamil.com

Photo: Ancylostoma ceylanicum hookworm. Photo sourced from: http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2012/07/12271/new-drug-prospect-offers-hope-aga...

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