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Cholera Outbreak in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Province

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  • Re: 177 dead, 3300+ affected by several illnesses in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Province

    http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=48938

    PNG top health official says epidemics show need to address infrastructure
    Posted at 07:53 on 07 September, 2009 UTC

    Papua New Guinea’s Secretary for Health, Dr Clement Malau, says the outbreaks of cholera and shigella infection in Morobe province, are symptoms of the poor health infrastructure in the country.

    The diseases have claimed at least 100 lives but one estimate puts the toll at more than four hundred, with several thousand continuing to suffer the effects.

    To try to contain the outbreak efforts are being made to have a state of emergency declared, though Dr Malau says a team of around 90 health officials is already working in the affected districts of Morobe.

    Dr Malau says the outbreaks are a symptom of an ongoing problem which PNG needs to address - namely, its health systems breaking down at the lowest level.

    “It’s basically a symptom of the basic infrastructure, the basic health needs of everyone, right at the lowest level of our facilities. People taking basic hygiene precautions, you know, and waste, waste management.”
    Dr Malau is to lead a team of officials into region tomorrow to assess what is required.

    News Content © Radio New Zealand International

    Comment


    • Re: 177 dead, 3300+ affected by several illnesses in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Province

      From ReliefWeb today.

      http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/fullMaps_Oc.nsf/luFullMap/0689318197D8276BC125762A003D7726/$File/map.pdf?OpenElement

      Morobe province:
      Tewai - Siassi district: 99 reported cases of cholera
      and 9 deaths reported in the .
      Menyama district: 205 reported cases of dysentery
      and 17 reported deaths.
      In addtion, there was a further 278 reported cases
      of influenza with 14 reported deaths.

      Comment


      • Re: 177 dead, 3300+ affected by several illnesses in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Province

        http://lewisinpng.blogspot.com/2009/...ra-in-lae.html

        Sunday, September 6, 2009
        Cholera in Lae
        The Cholera Outbreak in Lae is still getting bigger. As of yesterday there are 28 patients admitted to hospital. There have been three deaths here in Lae and seven in Wasu (northern coast of Morobe Province).
        The Flu/Dysentery in Menyama is also increasing in numbers and in geographical area. I will be heading up there sometime in the next day or so with a team to do a needs assessment.

        Medicine Sans Frontiers, MSF (Doctors Without Borders) have set up with the help of the Defence Forces a Cholera Treatment Unit in 4 tents at ANGAU hospital and have flown in more specialist personnel. World Health Organisation have also sent specialists.
        This is the first incident of Cholera in PNG and because of this there are not many people that know what cholera is and what to do about it.
        Awareness notices and 'toksaves' are spreading the news about prevention around the city.
        The FIVE 'F's will be hopefully known by everyone soon.
        Fluids (care of safe water with boiling and treatment)
        Food (dont eat uncooked food)
        Fingers (washing of hands)
        Feaces (sanitation methods)
        Flies (spread of disease through flies)

        Comment


        • Re: 177 dead, 3300+ affected by several illnesses in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Province

          PNG Province Map
          http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/austr...inea_pol89.jpg

          Comment


          • Re: 177 dead, 3300+ affected by several illnesses in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Province

            http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=48953

            PNG’s top medical official leads a team to areas hit by illness
            Posted at 19:21 on 07 September, 2009 UTC

            Papua New Guinea’s top medical official will today lead a team to assess the districts of Morobe province hit by outbreaks of cholera and shigella bacterial infection.

            The diseases have already claimed at least 100 lives but local estimates have put the death toll at over four hundred.

            The Government is still considering whether to declare a state of emergency which would free up more resources, though the Secretary for Health Dr Clement Malau, says a lot of work is already being done by the more than 90 medical staff in the region.

            But he says they will be looking for additional help from outside Morobe.

            “So we are working on other adjacent provinces and districts to help so that is why I am going up there with the Chief Secretary. Chief Secretary has also offered to come with us, together with the World Health Organisation and the AusAID representative here. We are going up to make a quick assessment of what is being done at the moment.”
            Papua New Guinea’s Secretary for Health Dr Clement Malau.

            News Content © Radio New Zealand International
            PO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand

            Comment


            • Re: 177 dead, 3300+ affected by several illnesses in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Province

              http://anvanderheide.blogspot.com/20...ra-in-lae.html

              Tuesday, September 8, 2009
              cholera in Lae

              Lae (and surrounding areas) is now dealing with an outbreak of cholera on top of a dysentery type outbreak in the Menyamya area. A lot of foreign organisations are madly working around the clock especially to contain the cholera outbreak. A number of people have already died. Even our school is on high alert with the canteen already being downgraded to only selling prepackaged foods. Cholera is spread mainly by infected water, food and flies. When contracted it can kill very quickly through rapid dehydration. It can also be treated quickly...if only the people go and seek immedidate help. The settlements and villages where hygiene is so poor (no running water, etc) is a perfect breeding ground for cholera to spread. Medical organisations (and we all are in our own small ways) are trying to spread the word to get people to boil water, wash their hands, cook food well and keep flies off food. An army complex has been set up at the hospital and MSF (doctors without borders) is running the treatment of the cholera there. Cholera has been diagnosed also in the Bumbu settlement which we are working in. Please join us in praying that this Cholera outbreak may be contained, as well as the other mystery illness in the highlands, and that God will bless the hands of those who seek to help in small ways and big to treat these illnesses!
              Posted by Andrew and Natalie VanderHeide at 6:37 AM

              Comment


              • Re: 177 dead, 3300+ affected by several illnesses in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Province

                Comment: We've got containment actions being reported. See below.

                200 pupils infected
                Source:
                PISAI GUMAR in MENYAMYA

                MORE than 200 pupils and teachers of a large primary school in Menyamya have been diagnosed with both swine dysentery and influenza, as the station’s health centre awaits in distress for medicines, medical personnel and water supply system.
                The school, Hakwange Primary, some three hours drive from Menyamya station, has been quarantined by health workers.
                A total of 201 of the 562 pupils and six of the 14 teachers and dependents were yesterday being treated.

                Only one report was released by Morobe provincial deputy health adviser Micah Yawing, who is also the Menyamya task force coordinator.
                He reported the deaths of two elementary pupils at Hengiyapa.
                “It was now a major worry when children began to die with no help in sight,” Mr Yawing said.
                Meanwhile, classes at Hakwange Primary, which was supposed to have begun with the ninth week of term three yesterday, have been suspended by district education co-ordinator Ron Anakai, for a month.
                Headmaster John Akuse said all students would be contained in the school area and treated. At the other primary schools, no one was affected at Umela, less than 20 were being treated at Kwaplalim, while Lagai in Kaintiba, Gulf province, was yet to be assessed.
                Teams that had travelled to the villages in Menyamya had returned last night with statistics but they were being kept under tabs for analysis.
                Mr Yawing and his assistant task force co-ordinator and Menyamya district administrator Samson Aaron were last night “having nightmares” because of an apparent lack of support from Lae.
                “We need medicines. We need additional staff members. And we need water tanks. I can’t go on like this while people, particularly children, are dying,” he said.
                Mr Yawing was yesterday pleading for water tanks to be supplied to the Menyamya Health Centre.
                He said they would need at least four 8,000l Tuffa tanks.
                Without water and treatment chemicals and pumps and connections, their efforts to contain the outbreak would be futile, and more people, including children, would die.
                Even more pressing is the need for rations for the health workers to take on patrols into the affected areas and for patients admitted to the Menyamya health centre as well as a water supply system.
                A meeting of the Menyamya task force on Sunday afternoon came up with an action plan and appointed personnel to several posts, including a media liaison officer.
                Among the measures approved for implementation was an immediate and indefinite ban on all travel into and out of Menyamya.
                The ban has been placed at the Kotai Bridge where policemen stand guard.

                The task force was given K20,000 yesterday by Menyamya MP Benjamin Phillip to cover rations.
                The Bank South Pacific was the first firm to donate money.
                It gave K10,000 to the Menyamya task force through the health sector programme account to buy immediate needs.
                Mr Yawing added that the most severely affected areas were those in the Hakwange area of the Kome LLG were the 38,000 people have yet to be fully assessed, treated and educated on preventative measures.
                He said the dysentery was acquired from drinking water from creeks polluted by pigs’ waste compounded by lack of proper toilets.
                In other areas such as Wailala in Eastern Highlands province, the death toll was reported to have risen from one to 10.
                Heavy rains had prevented teams from travelling into the area.

                http://www.thenational.com.pg/?q=node/473


                -----------------

                Govt to declare SoE
                Source:
                DAISY PAWA TANIOVA

                THE health task force for containing the triple cholera, swine dysentery and flu epidemic in Morobe province is not able to give the statistics from all the affected areas.
                Chairman of the task force and Morobe provincial programme adviser for Health Dr Likei Theo and his team were in a meeting all day yesterday to discuss and verify figures from the cholera outbreak in Wasu and Lae and the swine dysentery and flu in Menyamya.
                He would be holding a press conference this morning to release the figures.
                The Government has realised the severity of the epidemic.
                Health secretary Dr Clement Malau said last night the Health Minister would be advising the Government to declare a state of emergency in Morobe province.
                In the meantime, 10 new cases showing signs and symptoms of cholera have been reported at the Angau Memorial General Hospital quarantined area and are currently under observation, according to two reliable sources who are currently working on site.
                This number would now bring the total number of treated patients to 40, an increase from 30 on Sunday evening.
                The quarantine site workers at Angau said there were no reports of deaths from cholera in Lae.
                They added that the patients were improving and some had already been discharged.
                Meanwhile, Dr Theo has advised Lae city residents to take extra precautions in caring for their hygiene as the recent outbreak of cholera in the province was believed to be a result of poor living conditions.
                He said cholera and other types of diarrhoea could be avoided if the “five Fs” of hygiene were practised.
                This would mean boiling all fluids, eat food which is properly cooked and avoid eating cooked food from open markets.
                Fingers or hands should be washed with soap or ash after visiting the toilet and before handling food.
                Flies should not be allowed to sit on food and faeces should be deposited in pit latrines or covered with sand or soil.

                http://www.thenational.com.pg/?q=node/472

                Comment


                • Re: 177 dead, 3300+ affected by several illnesses in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Province

                  PNG fears cholera spread beyond Morobe
                  Posted at 01:26 on 08 September, 2009 UTC

                  The Papua New Guinea government is very concerned that an outbreak of cholera in Morobe could spread around the country and it’s looking at declaring a state of emergency to try and contain it.

                  The secretary for health, Dr Clement Malau, is today leading a team, that includes the government’s chief secretary and donor agencies, to make an assessment of the Morobe districts where cholera and a separate shigella bacteria outbreak have hit over the past three weeks.

                  The official death toll from both diseases is put at just over 100 but the Governor of Morobe, Luther Wenge, says information he’s received from villagers indicates over four hundred have died.

                  Dr Malau says it’s the first time cholera has been in the country and he’s particularly concerned that it doesn’t spread.

                  “The fact that even in Port Moresby, the way we practise general hygiene in our market systems here is really really of concern. Along the Highlands Highway, the way people buy and sell food is also a very big concern. We already have cholera in the country and if it spreads to those areas we are very concerned that it might be a major national concern.”
                  “Dr Clement Malau, the PNG secretary for health”

                  http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=48971

                  Comment


                  • Re: 177 dead, 3300+ affected by several illnesses in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Province

                    Papua New Guinea:
                    Cholera, dysentery and
                    influenza outbreaks

                    DREF operation n° MDRPG004
                    Glide No. EP-2009-000185-PNG
                    7 September, 2009

                    CHF 43,878 (USD 41,339 or EUR 28,923) has been allocated from the Federation’s Disaster Relief
                    Emergency Fund (DREF) to support Papua New Guinea Red Cross Society (PNGRCS) in
                    delivering immediate assistance to some 5,000 beneficiaries. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF
                    are encouraged.

                    Summary:
                    A State of Emergency has been declared in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea in response to outbreaks of cholera, influenza and dysentery across two districts within the province. There have been 99 reported cases of cholera and 9 deaths reported in the district of Tewai – Siassi to date. In
                    Menyamya district there are 205 reported cases of dysentery and 17 reported deaths as a result. In addition, there was a further 278 reported cases of influenza with 14 reported deaths. The Papua New Guinea Red Cross is in the process of mobilizing volunteers and relief stocks in an effort to support the containment of the diseases.


                    The situation
                    A cholera outbreak in Morobe province, Papua New Guinea which is said to have been first detected on 28 July, was first reported to health personnel on 4 August. While the outbreak was initially concentrated in the village of Nambariwa in the district of Tewai - Siassi, it had spread to a further three villages: Lambutina, Towat and Wasu by 6 August. As of 2 September there were also cases being reported in a further two villages: Woka and Lailo. There is also growing concern regarding the population of Lae in the Morobe provincial capital, (which has a population of 300,000), where there have been 14 reported cases and one reported death.

                    Simultaneously in the district of Menyamya, there have been 278 reported cases of influenza resulting in 14 reported deaths; and a further 205 reported cases of dysentery with 17 reported deaths. The outbreaks in Menyamya are currently isolated to three villages: Hakwenge, Wapi and
                    Kome.

                    Water specialists are looking at the chlorination levels of the water supply in Lae as it is a transit point for the five highland provinces, the four Momase provinces: East Sepik, Madang, Morobe, and West Sepik (Sandaun). This also includes the provinces of Milne Bay and Oro.

                    Two health assessment teams headed by the national department of health have been into the cholera affected areas to assess the situation and determine response needs. The villages affected by influenza and dysentery in the district of Menyamya are in a very remote area of the Morobe province; and the district has limited communication. Health teams have to be air dropped as there are no roads into this mountainous area. A health assessment team went to Menyamya on 4 September and is expected to return to Lae on 7 September.
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                    • Re: 177 dead, 3300+ affected by several illnesses in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Province

                      Comment: The article title is a bit misleading. The Menyamya outbreak is due to Dysentery and Influenza.

                      Cholera toll at 101

                      By Lae Bureau reporters

                      The number of deaths from the Menyamya outbreak has reached 101 with two more deaths reported at Ekwange, medical co-ordinator of the relief effort Micah Yawing said last night.
                      Solomon Bomo an officer in charge of Menyamya district, yesterday returned from Kwaplalim sub health centre on the border of Eastern Highlands and Morobe Provinces with very bad news.
                      According to Mr Bomo 10 people died yesterday at Vailala in Obura Wonenara in the Eastern Highlands.
                      One of the saddest moments he witnessed was that of a young baby girl. The baby was taken by relatives from her dying mother in Vailala to save her life.
                      A medical team was on its way to Kwaplalim yesterday. A helicopter was being organised to airlift a team to Vailala.
                      Meanwhile, reports from Asakumdi say the outbreak has reached frightening proportions with even animals affected. A man from that villages said pigs were affected and had swollen faces.
                      Meanwhile two children seven to eight succumbed to a combination of dysentry and influenza on Sunday at Kambasepa village in Menyamya district of Morobe Province.
                      Post-Courier reporter Haiveta Kivia learned of the sad deaths as he was making his way by road with a medical team to the Umba area on the border of the Morobe and Eastern Highlands provinces.
                      “It grieved my heart and I shed tears as a father myself to learn that two children about the same age as my son had passed away when help was so near and sadly, a few days late,” he said last night.
                      Hengiapa aid post community health worker Simeon Aniam said he learned of the deaths yesterday morning after opening the aid post. Hengiapa is about half an hour walk from Kambasepa.
                      He said he had sent two of his men to Kambasepa but they had yet to return with the ground report. He said Hayapa village past Hengiapa was also badly affected.
                      He said the people were too weak to come to Hengiapa for treatment. Health extension officer Ringo Bariana headed the medical team to the Hengiapa and Umba areas.
                      When notified of the deaths, he returned to Hengiapa only to find that the aid post had run out of drugs due to the high number of influenza patients. Mr Bariana will return to Hengiapa from Menyamya government station today with more drugs. At Umba, 130 patients had diarrhoea symptoms. HEO Bariana said the patients posed no immediate danger to themselves or the community.
                      “The community health worker Bobby Martin has done a marvellous job and they should all be able to recover,” he said. “Our immediate concern is the Hayapa and Kambasepa areas.”
                      Despite the SoE declaration, there is no sign of assistance from the Government. Mr Yawing, head of the medical teams on the ground in Menyamya, said he wants direct and improved communications with important officials in Lae.

                      http://www.postcourier.com.pg/20090908/tuhome.htm


                      ------------

                      Aust brings in medical supplies

                      A health officer carrying an AusAID funded medical supplies that arrived in Lae on Saturday.

                      Australia is providing emergency medical supplies and equipment to Papua New Guinea for communities affected by the recent cholera outbreak. Eleven people have died and at least 116 people are suspected of contracting cholera in two separate outbreaks in Morobe Province.
                      Following a request from the PNG Government, Australia-funded supplies arrived in Lae on Saturday, equipping health teams with more than 250,000 water purification tablets, protective clothing, and more than 37,000 clean containers for water storage and transport. Australia also provided money to the World Health Organisation for 500,000 oral rehydration salts.
                      Australia’s contribution is being distributed through the World Health Organisation and PNG’s national Department of Health, working on the ground to co-ordinate relief efforts.
                      This is the first confirmed outbreak of cholera in PNG since the 1960s. Cholera is transmitted through water and food contaminated with the cholera organism. The disease can be successfully treated through rehydration to replace lost fluids, but if not treated can be fatal.

                      http://www.postcourier.com.pg/20090908/tuhome.htm

                      Comment


                      • Re: 177 dead, 3300+ affected by several illnesses in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Province

                        Originally posted by Okieman View Post
                        Meanwhile, reports from Asakumdi say the outbreak has reached frightening proportions with even animals affected. A man from that villages said pigs were affected and had swollen faces.
                        Interesting development as cholera is not often found in animals......


                        "Cholera has 2 main reservoirs, man and water. V cholerae is rarely isolated from animals, and animals do not play a role in transmission of disease." from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/962643-overview

                        What is going on in Papua?

                        Comment


                        • Re: 177 dead, 3300+ affected by several illnesses in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Province

                          http://www.thenational.com.pg/?q=node/452

                          Fear of reduced coffee trade in disease- stricken areas
                          Source:
                          The National
                          THE effects of the present outbreak of cholera on coffee production in the Menyamya district of Morobe province would be known after the disease has been contained, the major coffee buyer in the district said yesterday.
                          Yha-Hauka Kopi Ltd general manager Finan Romaso said the coffee picking season was over and growers were now drying their coffee.
                          But, with the cholera attack on the people of Menyamya, he was uncertain on the number of growers who would be able to sell their produce.
                          Likewise, Mr Romaso said the company had already reduced its coffee-buying in the district due to the poor road conditions.
                          The company used to buy up to 120,000 bags of coffee annually, but this had now been reduced to half due to the poor condition of the main highway between Lae and Menyamya.
                          Yesterday, heavy trucks were able to get through to Menyamya but Mr Romaso said the condition of the feeder roads which connected the highway to the coffee producing villages remained in appalling conditions.
                          A cash flow problem was another factor contributing to the reduction in coffee-buying in the Menyamya and Aseki areas, he said.
                          Mr Romaso said the company was hoping Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare would give them the money he promised in 2007 so that they could increase coffee-buying and export.
                          Sir Michael had confirmed promising to give the company K1.5 million but until now, the company has not received anything.

                          Comment


                          • Re: 177 dead, 3300+ affected by several illnesses in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Province

                            http://www.postcourier.com.pg/20090908/tuhome.htm

                            Seafood cited as cholera link

                            By FRANCO NEBAS

                            LOCAL health authorities in Tewai/Siassi district in Morobe Province have suspected that cholera may occur in persons who have eaten seafood, particularly shellfish.
                            District health admini-strator Tureng Tamba said cholera had never reached Papua New Guinea but the risk to PNG was mainly from border crossers from the Indonesian border
                            area.
                            He said however, cholera may occur in persons who have eaten seafood, particularly shellfish, from a port where foreign vessels have discharged waste or ballast.
                            “In our situation, the villages affected were people living along the coast where they mainly rely on fishing,” he said.
                            He said that the villagers may have contracted cholera after eating shellfish that may have fed on human waste discharged from a passing foreign vessel from an infected
                            person.
                            He said the disease may have spread from person to person through contaminated hands.
                            “This is what we think, however we have to confirm with an epidermis how the disease was contracted,” he said.
                            Meanwhile after a personal visit to the affected villages, Morobe provincial administrator Kemas Tomala has instructed for a supply of additional manpower and medicine to the
                            villages.
                            Mr Tomala visited the villages of Nambariva and Lambatina where cholera first started.
                            Local and provincial medical officers were working together with representatives from the World Health Organisation (WHO) to prevent the disease from spreading.
                            Mr Tomala also commended the effort put in by local health workers and WHO to contain the disease from spreading to neighbouring villages.
                            The officers from WHO were first to be on the ground last week together with local health officers treating diagnosed adults.
                            Provincial health inspector Joe Wartovo was also there carrying out an awareness campaign on water supply, sanitation and personal hygiene.
                            Mr Wartovo told the people in the villages to maintain good water supply, sanitation and personal hygiene.
                            He said he had observed that personal hygiene was lacking among the people in the villages and encouraged them to improve in this area.

                            Comment


                            • Re: 177 dead, 3300+ affected by several illnesses in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Province

                              http://www.trupela.com/2009/09/08/ch...ern-highlands/

                              Browse: Home / Planti Stori long Ples / The latest on the Cholera Outbreak
                              The latest on the Cholera Outbreak
                              By Robert on September 8, 2009

                              I was having a chat this afternoon with a couple of the doctors from Goroka General Hospital on the Cholera situation in Morobe and now the Eastern Highlands. One of the good doctors commented that the local newspapers are reporting several illnesses: dysentery, cholera, influenza and swine flu.

                              Which one is it? I asked him. Which illness are people dying from?

                              We’re still not 100% sure what is causing the deaths – the good doctor replied – the symptoms described in the media are also the symptoms of severe and wide spread food poisoning.


                              (By the way… the story I posted on Sunday: “Has Cholera crossed over into the Eastern Highlands” – was confirmed in The National yesterday.)

                              Perhaps the discussion I was having with the local doctors highlights the general confusion as to what is really going on. The number of deaths, villages and people affected, whether a state of emergency has been declared or not, the illness itself – each day, each story, each newspaper is reporting discrepancies.

                              One fact remains… people are definitively dying!


                              Here’s a few excerpts of the various stories news items that appeared in today’s PNG Press:




                              200 Pupils Infected
                              The National: story by Pisai Gumar in Menyama

                              More than 200 pupils and teachers of a large primary school in Menyamya have been diagnosed with both swine dysentery and influenza, as the station’s health centre awaits in distress for medicines, medical personnel and water supply system. The school, Hakwange Primary, some three hours drive from Menyamya station, has been quarantined by health workers…



                              Government to declare SOE
                              The National: story by Daisy Pawa Taniova

                              THE health task force for containing the triple cholera, swine dysentery and flu epidemic in Morobe province is not able to give the statistics from all the affected areas. Chairman of the task force and Morobe provincial programme adviser for Health Dr Likei Theo and his team were in a meeting all day yesterday to discuss and verify figures from the cholera outbreak in Wasu and Lae and the swine dysentery and flu in Menyamya. He would be holding a press conference this morning to release the figures. The Government has realised the severity of the epidemic. Health secretary Dr Clement Malau said last night the Health Minister would be advising the Government to declare a state of emergency in Morobe province…



                              Cholera toll at 101
                              Post Courier: story by Lae Bureau reporters

                              The number of deaths from the Menyamya outbreak has reached 101 with two more deaths reported at Ekwange, medical co-ordinator of the relief effort Micah Yawing said last night. Solomon Bomo an officer in charge of Menyamya district, yesterday returned from Kwaplalim sub health centre on the border of Eastern Highlands and Morobe Provinces with very bad news. According to Mr Bomo 10 people died yesterday at Vailala in Obura Wonenara in the Eastern Highlands…



                              Seafood cited as cholera link
                              Post Courier: story by Franco Nebas reporters

                              Local health authorities in Tewai/Siassi district in Morobe Province have suspected that cholera may occur in persons who have eaten seafood, particularly shellfish. District health admini-strator Tureng Tamba said cholera had never reached Papua New Guinea but the risk to PNG was mainly from border crossers from the Indonesian border area. He said however, cholera may occur in persons who have eaten seafood, particularly shellfish, from a port where foreign vessels have discharged waste or ballast….

                              Comment


                              • Re: 177 dead, 3300+ affected by several illnesses in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Province

                                http://www.postcourier.com.pg/20090908/view02.htm

                                viewpoints
                                Tuesday 08th September, 2009


                                Health conditions must be improved

                                IT is sad to read about many of our people in Morobe and elsewhere dying of preventable diseases like cholera.
                                In a country of plenty this is criminal neglect by authorities that be to cure and prevent such high mortality is also a paradox.
                                Many of our public hospitals are merely diagnostic centres because most medicines are never available thus patients end up at the pharmacies to purchase prescribed
                                medication or go without if they cannot afford them.
                                Our health system is supposed to be providing medical assistance affordable by any ordinary citizen of this country. The death toll reaching the hundred mark and over in
                                Morobe is message to us all that our government does not care.
                                It is appalling, when lives are being lost while medical response teams are getting themselves organised when
                                they are supposed to be ever ready knowing that PNG is susceptible to many preventable and curable tropical diseases.
                                I think that apart from education and training, overall health system should take priority for funding over other specific expenditures.
                                Our health system is dysfunctional when priority of resource distribution is unfair at the expense of taxpayers and more so the rural people who need these services most.
                                I would like to see my taxes put into use for ordinary lie-loving citizens who do not choose to be sick, as in most incidences of HIV-AIDS which are contracted from freelance
                                sexual urges and exploits, but due to conditions and situations beyond their control. It is timely for the Government to look into the health system on a broader picture and
                                decide where resources are needed the most and distribute accordingly. And how about creating individual ministries to accommodate for all other major illnesses like malaria,
                                TB, cancer, etc in the country now that our health ministry is also a ministry of HIV and AIDS?

                                Onge Nufuk

                                Comment

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