Malaria on isolated Melanesian islands prior to the initiation of malaria elimination activities

The Pacific Malaria Initiative Survey Group (PMISG), Atkinson, Jo-An, Clements, Archie, Dove, Georgina, Forsyth, Simon, Kelly, Gerard, Marston, Luke, Reid, Heidi, Riley, Ian, Vallely, Andrew and Whittaker, Maxine (2010) Malaria on isolated Melanesian islands prior to the initiation of malaria elimination activities. Malaria Journal, 9 1: 218-1-218-9. doi:10.1186/1475-2875-9-218

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Author The Pacific Malaria Initiative Survey Group (PMISG)
Atkinson, Jo-An
Clements, Archie
Dove, Georgina
Forsyth, Simon
Kelly, Gerard
Marston, Luke
Reid, Heidi
Riley, Ian
Vallely, Andrew
Whittaker, Maxine
Title Malaria on isolated Melanesian islands prior to the initiation of malaria elimination activities
Journal name Malaria Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1475-2875
Publication date 2010-07-26
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1475-2875-9-218
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 9
Issue 1
Start page 218-1
End page 218-9
Total pages 9
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: The Australian Government's Pacific Malaria Initiative (PacMI) is supporting the National Malaria Program in both Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, complementing assistance from the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM). Two remote island groups - Tafea Province, Vanuatu and Temotu Province, Solomon Islands have been selected by the governments of both countries as possible malaria elimination areas. To provide information on the prevalence and distribution of the disease within these island groups, malariometric surveys were conducted during the wet seasons of 2008.

Methods: In Tafea Province, a school-based survey was conducted which included the 2-12 y age group, while in Temotu a village based all-ages survey was conducted. An effort was made to sample villages or schools from a wide an area as possible on all islands. Diagnosis was initially based on Giemsa stained blood slides followed by molecular analysis using polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Results: In Tafea Province, 73% (5238/7150) of children (2-12 y) were surveyed and in Temotu Province, in the all-ages survey, 50.2% (8742/17410) of the provincial population participated in the survey. In both Vanuatu and Solomon Islands malariometric surveys of their southern-most islands in 2008 showed relatively low over-all malaria parasite prevalence (2 to 3%). Other features of malaria in these island groups were low parasitaemia, low gametocyte carriage rates, low spleen rates, low malaria associated morbidity, a high incidence of asymptomatic infections, and a predominance of Plasmodium vivax over Plasmodium falciparum.

: For various reasons malaria rates are declining in these provinces providing a favourable situation for local malaria elimination. This will be advanced using mass distribution of bed nets and selective indoor residual spraying, the introduction of rapid diagnostic tests and artemisinin combination therapy, and intensive case detection and surveillance. It is as yet uncertain whether malaria parasites can themselves be sustainably eliminated from entire Melanesian islands, where they have previously been endemic. Key issues on the road to malaria elimination will be continued community involvement, improved field diagnostic methods and elimination of residual P. vivax parasites from the liver of asymptomatic persons.
© 2010 Shanks and The Pacific Malaria Initiative Survey Group (PMISG) on behalf of the Ministries of Health of Vanuatu and Solomon Islands; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keyword Malaria
Pacific Islanders
Plasmodium Falciparum
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article# 218, pp.1-9

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 19 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 24 Feb 2011, 10:03:08 EST by Geraldine Fitzgerald on behalf of School of Public Health