11 Sep 2009

PNG students moblised to help combat spread of diseases in Morobe

10:35 am on 11 September 2009

Papua New Guinea's Secretary for Health, Dr Clement Malau, says they are coping, for now, with outbreaks of disease in Morobe Province.

Shigella and cholera have claimed dozens of lives over the past month and on Wednesday this week the Government announced a public health emergency.

Dr Malau says this will ensure that the reporting of the diseases by schools and other institutions is urgent.

Dr Malau says they now have enough personnel on the ground, including the mobilising of health study students from Morobe's Divine Word University.

"We train our health extension officers and our environmental officers in that facility, so the President of the University has offered to send more staff down. Locally, the province is already organising inter-district staff cover, so up to now it is pretty much under control, but if the situation gets worse we will have to get more staff in there."