8 Dec 2009

PNG cholera outbreak spreads to Wewak

2:53 pm on 8 December 2009

At least eight people have died from cholera in Papua New Guinea's East Sepik Province, and it's estimated another 200 people in rural areas have the disease.

Cholera has been affecting the PNG northern coast provinces since August with several dozen people dying.

It has been in East Sepik now for a month but the provincial health advisor, Albert Bunat, says it is spreading and reached the main town, Wewak.

He says they have had significant help from international NGOs and agencies but need more funding from the national government.

"What funds we have in the province or those being donated by WHO or the Department of Health we have sort of exhausted because of the emergency we had in the first week of November. But we have to deploy people out just to investigate and get treatment going at the same time."

Albert Bunat says they have set up two treatment centres along the Sepik River and another at the Angoram Hospital, but more are needed.