Communicable and non-communicable diseases in the Solomon Islands villages during recovery from a massive earthquake in April 2007

N Z Med J. 2011 Apr 29;124(1333):17-28.


Aim: The major causes of mortality and morbidity have changed from infectious diseases and malnutrition conditions to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Melanesian societies. However, a massive earthquake and its related changes might have disturbed the patterns. This study aimed to explore which health problems were likely to be prevalent during the recovery process from the 2 April 2007 earthquake in the Solomon Islands.

Methods: Participants were recruited in Titiana, a severely damaged village located near a town; Tapurai, a severely damaged remote village; Mondo, a severely damaged, medium urban village; and Olive, a control village. Health indicators measured were classified into communicable and nutritional conditions (malaria, malnutrition, infection status and child growth) and NCDs (overweight/obesity, hypertension and diabetes).

Results: Titiana residents were more at risk of infectious conditions (C-reactive protein greater than and equal to 1 mg/dL) and obesity (BMI greater than and equal to 30 kg/m²). Tapurai and Mondo residents were at risks of infectious conditions and becoming overweight (BMI greater than and equal to 25 kg/m²), respectively. Titiana and Mondo residents complained about insufficient subsistence production.

Conclusion: The urban communities were found to be at risks of both communicable and NCDs. Controlling the urbanisation as well as providing continuous support against infectious conditions during the recovery process would be beneficial.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / epidemiology*
  • Earthquakes*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infections / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Melanesia / epidemiology
  • Nutrition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Poverty / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Environment
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data