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1.  Ongoing outbreak of dengue serotype-3 in Solomon Islands, January to May 2013 
Enhanced dengue surveillance was implemented in the capital, Honiara, and in the provinces. This included training health staff on dengue case definitions, data collection and reporting. Vector surveillance was also conducted.
From 3 January to 15 May 2013, 5254 cases of suspected dengue were reported (101.8 per 10 000 population), including 401 hospitalizations and six deaths. The median age of cases was 20 years (range zero to 90), and 86% were reported from Honiara. Both Aedes aegyti and Aedes albopictus were identified in Honiara. Outbreak response measures included clinical training seminars, vector control activities, implementation of diagnostic and case management protocols and a public communication campaign.
This was the first large dengue outbreak documented in Solomon Islands. Factors that may have contributed to this outbreak include a largely susceptible population, the presence of a highly efficient dengue vector in Honiara, a high-density human population with numerous breeding sites and favourable weather conditions for mosquito proliferation. Although the number of cases has plateaued since 1 April, continued enhanced nationwide surveillance and response activities are necessary.
PMCID: PMC3853998  PMID: 24319611
2.  Critical care resources in the Solomon Islands: a cross-sectional survey 
There are minimal data available on critical care case-mix, care processes and outcomes in lower and middle income countries (LMICs). The objectives of this paper were to gather data in the Solomon Islands in order to gain a better understanding of common presentations of critical illness, available hospital resources, and what resources would be helpful in improving the care of these patients in the future.
This study used a mixed methods approach, including a cross sectional survey of respondents' opinions regarding critical care needs, ethnographic information and qualitative data.
The four most common conditions leading to critical illness in the Solomon Islands are malaria, diseases of the respiratory system including pneumonia and influenza, diabetes mellitus and tuberculosis. Complications of surgery and trauma less frequently result in critical illness. Respondents emphasised the need for basic critical care resources in LMICs, including equipment such as oximeters and oxygen concentrators; greater access to medications and blood products; laboratory services; staff education; and the need for at least one national critical care facility.
A large degree of critical illness in LMICs is likely due to inadequate resources for primary prevention and healthcare; however, for patients who fall through the net of prevention, there may be simple therapies and context-appropriate resources to mitigate the high burden of morbidity and mortality. Emphasis should be on the development and acquisition of simple and inexpensive tools rather than complicated equipment, to prevent critical care from unduly diverting resources away from other important parts of the health system.
PMCID: PMC3307438  PMID: 22376229
Critical care; Critical illness; Solomon Islands; Lower and middle income countries

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