News |

Swaddle blankets carry immunisation messages to Solomon Islands parents

Six thousand infant swaddle blankets promoting the importance of immunisation have been handed over to the National Referral Hospital (NRH) in Solomon Islands, as part of a joint NCIRS and Burnet Institute initiative conducted in close collaboration with local communities.

The blankets – which were co-designed with input from local stakeholders, including pregnant and postpartum women, and feature images relating to the Solomon Islands national immunisation schedule – are intended to act as a clear visual reminder of the need for essential childhood vaccinations.

The four Solomon Islands provinces with the highest number of unvaccinated children – Honiara, Guadalcanal, Western and Malaita – were identified as pilot sites for the activity. 

The project has the aim of distributing one blanket to each birthing mother in the four targeted provinces in 2024.

The NRH is the largest hospital in Solomon Islands, and in 2023 the facility recorded 6,177 births – a 17 per cent increase compared to 2022.

In Solomon Islands – as in many other parts of the world, including Australia  – vaccination coverage rates declined during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Improving immunisation coverage – particularly in children who have not received any vaccinations (commonly known as zero-dose children) – remains an urgent global health priority.

NCIRS’ team of global health specialists is also currently working with local partners in Timor-Leste, Fiji, Vietnam, the Philippines and Cambodia.

Learn more