Health workers from various provinces and health clinics around the country have today started a weeklong training in Honiara to empower them carry out a Second Generation Sentinel Surveillance study to determine the current prevalence of Sexually transmitted Infections specially syphilis and HIV in Solomon Islands.
Speaking at the official opening of the training today, Chief of UNICEF Solomon Islands Yun Jong Kang says the training is crucial as it will inform ongoing and future programme development efforts for Sexual and Reproduction Health Programmes in the country.
He says the study is important for Solomon Islands because updated and accurate estimates of HIV and sexually transmitted infections with sexual behaviours of the high-risk populations are necessary for effective HIV programming for the development of strategic plans.
Mr Kang says a HIV and STI prevalence and behavioural survey would strengthen HIV surveillance, help establish early detection and prevention of mother to child transmission and enable strategic data management for effective response and timely reporting.
Mr Kang says UNICEF’s vision for AIDS-free generation is that all children and their families are protected from HIV infection and live free from AIDS.
He adds UNICEF is pleased to provide funding support and technical assistance to the government through the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to conduct the study in Guadalcanal, Western, Malaita, Isabel, Choiseul, Makira and Temotu province including Honiara City Council.