8 Oct 2009

Fight in Samoa to prevent water-borne diseases

8:22 am on 8 October 2009

Medical professionals in Samoa say their priority now is to prevent the spread of disease.

The confirmed death toll from the tsunami now stands at 184.

142 people have died in Samoa, 32 in American Samoa and 9 in Tonga.

Eight people are still missing in Samoa and two in American Samoa.

The chief executive at the ministry of health, Palanitina Toelupe, says about 700 people still require medical help for mainly cuts and broken limbs.

Ms Toelupe says doctors and nurses must now ensure to contain an outbreak of water-related illnesses, including diarrhea and typhoid.

"There's potential for diseases and an outbreak of diarrheal diseases or gastroenteritis. As of now, we're still containing the situation and are hoping that we could delay it further. There's a lot of help been given to ensure that the basics are been given to the people to ensure that the basics are avaialble for them in order for them to prevent any diseases."

Meanwhile, the medical director of the Medcen private hospital in Apia, Dr Emosi Puni, says they are already treating some patients for sanitation-related illnesses, such as diarrhea.