16 Sep 2009

PNG Health officials say thousands continue to suffer from illnesses

6:24 am on 16 September 2009

Health authorities in Papua New Guinea's Morobe Province say diseases, which have claimed more than 100 lives are now less aggressive, but thousands continue to suffer.

The province has been hit by influenza and shigella in the inland Menymya area and cholera which has spread along the coast to include the capital, Lae.

The Morobe Provincial health administrator, Dr Likei Theo, put the known death toll at 120, though he says there have been no deaths from cholera for the past week.

However he says this doesn't mean the situation is under control.

"We cannot say that it is completely under control because there are some new cases from villages which have not reported to us, so that trend is still going. We need to get our hands over them and say this is the extent of the illnesses. That is what we are trying to do because of the communication problem and accessibilities and all that."

Dr Theo estimates that around six thousand people in the province are now suffering shigella and influenza.