13 Jan 2009

Trobriand Islands in PNG facing health crisis

6:55 pm on 13 January 2009

The people of Trobriand Islands in Papua New Guinea are facing a health crisis with 40 reported deaths from various illnesses since the main health centre serving around 32,000 locals was closed on New Year's Day.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that the health centre was ordered to close by health inspectors because of water contamination, and lack of toilet facilities, basic equipment and drugs including intravenous drips, oxygen, painkillers and anti-biotics.

Some Trobriand islanders have been referred to the Alotau General Hospital in the Milne bay provincial capital.

The paper says unconfirmed figures state that more than 40 people had died from typhoid, malaria and pneumonia, and the elderly and children in particular are reportedly falling sick each day.