High perinatal mortality rates persist in Kirakira: The sustainable development goals for health remain out of reach in the provinces of Solomon Islands

Peter D. Jones*, Niroshan Balasundaram, Lloyd D'Costa, Kunaal Kacker, Amila Kaludewa, James Fink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: This study aimed to calculate the perinatal mortality rate in Kirakira Hospital, a remote provincial hospital in Solomon Islands, over a 3-year period, from 2014 to 2016. Methods: A retrospective audit of the labour ward admission books for the years 2014–2016 was conducted. Patient files of all perinatal deaths and caesarean sections were accessed and reviewed. Stillbirths and early neonatal deaths were classified, and results were compared with the national health statistics of Australia (2014). Results: Between 2014 and 2016, there were 1311 births and 40 perinatal deaths (mortality rate of 31 per 1000). This is approximately three times the Australian rate of 9.6 deaths per 1000. Of these deaths, 28 were stillbirths, and 12 were neonatal deaths. Detailed information was available for 88% (35/40) of the perinatal deaths. Only 15 caesarean sections (1.1% of deliveries) were performed, compared to a rate of 32.1% of caesarean sections in Australia (2014). Conclusions: Kirakira continues to have a very high perinatal mortality rate that has not changed over the last 6 years. The rate is double that reported for Solomon Islands in current World Health Organization data. This discrepancy is likely due to an absence of clinical data outside of the National Referral Hospital in Honiara. This paper identifies clinical indicators that could be targeted to help lower the perinatal mortality rate in this remote and impoverished community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)895-899
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Issue number8
Early online date18 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

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