PNG cholera outbreak “spreading”

choleraAs public official’s voice frustration over the lack of government support, a cholera outbreak is spreading in Papua New Guineas capital Port Moresby. More than 3000 have cases have been confirmed nationwide with estimates of between 60 and 100 related deaths, since the first reported cholera case. It may be noted that Cholera is an intestinal infection that is mainly transmitted through contaminated water and food, and is closely linked to inadequate environmental management.

Dr Tim Pyakalyia told the paper “We cannot ignore it any longer. But if we need to enforce certain measures, we need help from the government and from departments like police, Tragically, the government has not woken up to this fact yet” while the Australia’s High Commissioner to PNG Ian Kemish said “This funding will be used to increase water quality surveillance and to train health-care staff in detecting cholera as early as possible” as the Australian Government has given $A655,4000 in funding to the WHO which will be used to purchase oral dehydration salts and other medicines.

This month, it was declared by the Health Minister Sasa Zibe, in the capital, in the latest flare up of a cholera outbreak which was first detected in remote provinces in. August last year. The PNG newspaper reported funds to fight the epidemic had dried up and the government promised three million kina had not yet been released.