Child with measles on body. Photo credit:  Garyn Goldston.

Child with measles on body. Photo credit: Garyn Goldston.

Health authorities have said to stop measles from entering Solomon Islands is a difficult task.

This statement follows a recent announcement of four confirmed measles cases – all in babies under 12 months old.

Director of Maternal and Child Health, Dr Divi Ogaoga said the Ministry of Health’s Quarantine division is continuing efforts to contain the measles outbreak, but it is difficult to stop the virus from spreading.

Dr Ogaoga made the statement in response to questions on measures the Ministry is taking to stop measles from entering the country at a media conference in Honiara yesterday.

He said Health Quarantine teams are stationed at international ports in the country, but it is difficult to contain the measles virus from entering the country.

“Our quarantine is continuing to do that but I must inform us that is very difficult to pick up cases. Some of them have started transmitting the infections but without obvious signs. You might think that it could just be a simple flu, so it’s very difficult to contain this virus at that level, so even if we have a sophisticated system at our borders the virus can be transmitted even before the rashes became obvious, it’s not that easy to actually close that borders and stop the virus from entering our country”.

Meanwhile, the Chief Health Inspector of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Quarantine, Emmanuel Rarumae says health inspectors are stationed at all International ports of entry in the country.

Mr Rarumae was speaking at a media conference yesterday.

He says the Quarantine Officer’s role is to check for vaccination certificates from travellers coming into the country.

He however said, this often does not have any real impact on containing diseases, as it is difficult to identify signs and symptoms of the illness.

“Even if we check these vaccination certificates it doesn’t have any effects, we cannot say that we’ll be okay because it’s quite difficult to identify these signs and symtoms of the disease but until we recognise these signs and symtoms, somebody has already been affected”.

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