Triathlon in the Tropics – South Pacific Style (pp. 83-90)
Authors: (Humpress Harrington, Lucy Taolo and David MacLaren, Atoifi Adventist College of Nursing, East Kwaio, Solomon Islands and others)
Abstract: Non-communicable diseases (NCD) are on the rise in Solomon Islands and have the potential to undermine labour supply, productivity, investment and education across the country. Interventions required to control NCDs exist outside the health sector and Solomon Island leaders have called for a whole of government and whole of society response to NCDs. In Solomon Islands, most of the population live in rural villages meaning public health initiatives need to be designed that are relevant and responsive to local contexts.
Atoifi Hospital is located on the remote east coast of the island of Malaita. There are no bicycles and the only road is an eroded gravel track between the hospital and nearby grass airstrip. In this context, the NCD team at Atoifi ran a triathlon as one part of a broad initiative to get people more active and thus address the rising rates of life style diseases in the area. The triathlon was modified to be „South Pacific‟ style - paddling dugout canoes, swimming in the lagoon and running on rough bush tracks. This presentation outlines the challenges and successes of this triathlon and explains how triathlon can be conducted at the grassroots level in the tropics with limited facilities and resources.
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