Situation in Brief

The national eye health program in the Solomon Islands provides a model for other countries in the Pacific. The program has its own budget allocation from the Ministry. While there is a shortage of eye doctors, trained ophthalmic nurses in each of the nine provinces provide referrals to the National Referral Hospital in Honiara. There are two operating days a week at the National Referral Hospital, with 15 outreaches to the provinces each year. Some large provinces receive up to two visits annually. A coordinated training program, using resources at the Pacific Eye Institute in Suva and the National Referral Hospital, provides training and practical experience for doctors and nurses. Vision centres and other facilities have been constructed and upgraded with support from donors and NGOs including NZAID, DFAT, Fred Hollows Foundation NZ, Foresight and Townend Family Trust.

Mapping and surveys have found that trachoma is prevalent in Solomon Islands, however there is little evidence of blinding complications. Further research, surveillance and programming is underway. To view the national plan for Solomon Islands, click here.

Country Statistics

Indicator Value
Population: 550,000
Human development index value: 0.491
National Prevention of Blindness Committee active: Yes
National Eye Health Plan Developed: Yes
Cataract surgical rate: 1,100
Number of ophthalmologists: 6
Blindness prevalence: 1% (2009 estimate)
Main causes of blindness: Cataract, trauma, diabetic retinopathy
Total expenditure on health as percentage of total government expenditure: 21.6
Diabetes prevalence: 13%
Improved drinking water coverage: 81%
Improved sanitation coverage: 29%
Endemic areas for trachoma: Yes. All areas surveyed currently endemic. Action Plan developed in 2013.