East Kwaio pastor explores hookworm

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Friday, 13 December, 2013

Pastor Paul Osa of the South Sea Evangelical Church today examined hookworm eggs at the Atoifi Adventist Hospital Laboratory. Pastor Osa is from Na'ua village, East Kwaio, Malaita province, Solomon Islands. Na'au residents have improved the village infrastructure by draining swampy areas, building raised pathways and undertaking a beautification scheme. These changes were prompted by the finding in 2011 that the village had a hookworm problem.

Improved sanitation is a key measure in controlling hookworm, combined with appropriate anthelmintic drug treatment. Atoifi Adventist Hospital offered all Na'au residents albendazole in a village-based distribution. Unfortunately, Na'au lacks funds to install higher quality toilets. The village is working with the Atoifi research team to assess whether their endeavours have reduced the prevalence of hookworm. Data from the survey will be used to seek support for improved sanitation.

The Atoifi team has developed from a two-way research capacity strengthening program that includes very motivated Solomon Island researchers as well as Australian researchers; Dr David MacLaren (James Cook University), Dr Richard Bradbury (Central Qld University), Dr Peter Massey (Hunter New England NSW Health), Lynne Jeffares (medical student at Notre Dame University), and THS Director, Rick Speare.

Redman-MacLaren M, MacLaren DJ, Harrington H, Asugeni R, Timothy-Harrington R, Kekeubata E, Speare R. Mutual research capacity strengthening: a qualitative study of two-way partnerships in public health research. International Journal for Equity in Health 2012;11:79. doi:10.1186/1475-9276-11-79

Posted by Rick Speare