The Ministry of Health and Medical Services, in collaboration with development partners, NGOs and local civil societies are taking action in the fight against NCDs to keep the Islands Hapi and healthy. Currently 93% of Solomon Islanders aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables and the country faces high rates of nutrition deficiencies, as well increasing rates of obesity. health workers and community groups are encouraging people to move away from the standard diet of rice, noodles and bread towards more balanced diets with plenty of local body-building (fish, nuts, legumes) and protective foods (fruits and vegetables).
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services' Nutrition Unit has some excellent resources available. These include:
Filled with nutrition information and tips to keep you healthy throughout the year
Healthy Food for Diabetes
This booklet contains a guide to the three food groups and guides to breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack foods.
Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure
This booklet contains information on hypertension as well as a guide to healthy eating to help reduce high blood pressure.
Food/ Kaikai Picture Kit
An interactive resource delivered by dietitians, nutritionists and community groups to teach people about the three Pacific Food Groups and how to eat a balanced diet.
Visit their office in Honiara for more information.
P O Box 349, Honiara, Solomon Islands
KaiKai blo lumi Cookbook
Created by Chihiro Ishimaru with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, Solomon Island Red Cross and Ministry of Health this cookbook uses healthy local ingredients with simple to follow recipes.
It also contains lots of nutrition information to show the benefits of eating local foods and health guides to show people how to create balanced meals. Visit the Ministry of Health or Red Cross Cafe to get a copy. Or click here for the Honiara Kaikai Omelet recipe, page 25.
Good Gardening and Growing Root Crops in Solomon Islands
Learn & Grow has developed this fantastic guide to growing food, along with nutrition information for the Solomon Islands. The resources include guides to building gardens, composting instructions, how to avoid pests and disease, planting guides as well as nutrition advice and posters. Click here to access all guides and posters.
Healthy Solo Kids
The Ministry of Health is currently working a new school food initiative. This will include healthy school food policies created by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education as well as new nutrition resources for schools. Three schools in Honiara are currently Health Promoting Schools so will benefit from increased nutrition focus while the Ministry works with their partners to encourage more schools on board.
The NCD Warriors are a Youth @ Work initiative and include 12 motivated youths working to promote the Healthy Solo Kids movement in 8 secondary schools throughout the Solomon Islands. The Warriors support schools in implementing new healthy eating policies and form health groups with students. These groups then work to establish healthy school gardens, promote healthy school canteens and run fun and active competitions such as sports tournaments and art contests.
Click here for more information on the program
or, click here to see more of Youth@Works fantastic work on Facebook
Read the latest press release here: Awareness program for schools deemed successful
Fruit @ Work
Fruit @ Work is a new small business venture which complements the NCD Warriors work. It aims to create an income source and foster business skills development for unemployed youth while increasing accessibility and consumption of fresh, local and nutritious fruit in Honiara in the battle against NCDs. It involves selling cut fruit and healthy snacks and is currently run by one of the NCD Warriors. Look out for the pineapple stall in the National Art Gallery grounds in Honiara.
Kastom Gaden Association (KGA) is an indigenous registered non profit organisation whose aim is to strengthen village-based food security in Solomon Islands using participatory, practical, grass-roots approaches that enable village people to examine, understand and develop their own solutions to improving household food security and village-based agriculture economyWorking throughout the Solomon Islands to create healthy and nutritious gardens.
For more information visit their website here.
Solomon Islands: A situational analysis of children, women and Youth Compiled by UNICEF in 2005.
Solomon Island Takes Steps Towards Food Fortification
Plans are underway to fortify both wheat flour and rice in the Solomon Islands. The goal of the program is to prevent nutritional anaemia and reduce the risk of pregnancies being affected by neural tube defects. nearly one in two women of child bearing age and one in two children under five years old in the Solomon Islands are anaemic. These levels are severe. The March of Dimes estimates that 27 pregnancies a year in the Solomon Islands are affected by a neural tube defect. Fortifying wheat flour and rice can help address both of these health concerns.
Food and Nutrition Security in Solomon Islands
Compiled by research program on aquatic agricultural systems with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
Solomon Islands Health System Review 2015
Compiled by the Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies
A radio interview with Erica Reeves, the Nutrition Unit Program Manager for the Ministry of Health about the Ministries 10 Dietary Guidelines. Erica discusses the current nutrition status, challenges and opportunities within the solomon islands.
To help with the Fruit@Work initiative nutrition flyers were produced to promote locally grown fruits and vegetables. You can see them all in our Flickr album here. You can also view the draft Solomon Islands version of Live Healthy, Stay Healthy here which includes information on health eating, exercise, alcohol, smoking and betel nut chewing plus tips on how to improve your health.
Have you noticed the red teeth and puddles throughout Honiara? Betel nut chewing has been occurring for over 1000 years in the Solomon Islands. While traditionally its use was controlled by social ceremonies it has now become a more habitual way to pass the time for many Solomon Islanders. A growing body of research has highlighted the dangers of betel nut. In fact betel nut is linked to all four NCDs ad it increases peoples risk of metabolic syndrome, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, asthma, dental problems and birth defects.
Betel Nut Advice (120KB)
The World Health Organisation also released a comprehensive report on Betel Nut Use and the consequences of this which you can access here.