29 Sep 2009

Health emergency in PNG's Morobe province extended

1:21 pm on 29 September 2009

A public health emergency in Papua New Guinea's Morobe Province will remain in place for several more weeks as health officials ensure that two separate outbreaks of disease have been brought under control.

The death toll from influenza and shigella around Menyamya and cholera in Wasu and Lae is put at about 130 by the provincial health administrator, Dr Likei Theo, but he says there have been no reports of deaths for two weeks now.

He says the public health emergency, which has focussed more resources on alerting people on how to prevent spreading the diseases, will continue for the next two or three weeks as officials continue to monitor the affected areas.

"At the moment I think we have gone from a situation where critical cases were coming in - I think we have managed that situation well and have brought it under control. Now we are looking at the phases like trying to tackle the problems of water and sanitation infrastructures."

Dr Likei Theo, the Morobe province's health administrator