Planning your elective: Solomon Islands
Mark Wilson gives you the low down on how to arrange your elective in the Solomon IslandsThe Solomon Islands sound like a tropical paradise, and in years gone by they were. But, unfortunately, that is not the case at the moment. With the civil unrest that has escalated in the past few weeks, the UK government is advising against travel to either the island of Guadalcanal or Malaita, except for essential business. Up to date advice on these and other islands can be found on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office website (www.fco.gov.uk). Despite this, some of the remote hospitals do offer fantastic experiences both within and outside the hospital--the diving is said to be some of the best in the world.
The six main islands are Choiseul, Guadalcanal, Malaita, New Georgia, San Cristobal, and Santa Isabel. Among the islands more than 80 languages are spoken, although Pidgin is spoken on most of them. For another view on working in the Solomon Islands check out www.hermannoberli.ch
There are six governmental hospitals and many missionary hospitals that provide the basic medical care for the population of 400 000. These are tropical islands and diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, dengue fever, filariasis, and Japanese encephalitis are all present.