Sharing results for action: A Zika Survey on Malaita

Tuesday, September 24, 2019
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By Mr Humpress Harrington

In May 2019 PhD candidate Mr Humpress Harrington and Associate Professor David MacLaren worked together with Atoifi Hospital Primary Health Care Department and community leaders to feedback results from the recent study to investigate the transmission malaria and aroboviruses in villages in East Kwaio.

The study, conducted in 4 villages, found 2 - 13% of people tested positive for malaria but did not have any signs or symptoms. Overall 45% of people tested positive for flavivirus (Dengue or Zika) and 46% tested positive for Alphavirus (Ross River or Chikungunya). The team also found that Aedes Albopictus, a mosquito responsible for arbovirus transmission was also found present in all 4 villages.

The result was firstly presented to the Atoifi Hospital and School of Nursing leaders. The results were then presented in open community meetings to the four communities in collaboration with the hospital Primary Health Care director Mr Chillion Fanuabae. Four nights were set aside in consultation with the communities to do the presentations.

Each night, presentation was given with Primary Health Care team followed by questions and answer session and a detailed discussion on what can be done by the communities and the hospital to control the spread of malaria and the arboviruses in the villages.

This is the first time that a community-level study has been conducted in East Kwaio to investigate arbovirus transmission. Therefore the results are very important for Atoifi Hospital, the Primary Health Care Department and the surrounding communities in planning to control vector bone diseases within the East Kwaio region.

The Atoifi Health Research Group wished to thank the James Cook University-led ‘Tropical Partners’ project and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services for making this survey possible.

For further information please contact Mr Humpress Harrington: humpress.harrington@my.jcu.edu.au
Photo: Mr Humpress Harrington sharing study results with villagers in East Kwaio