8 Jan 2010

SPC supplies water quality testing tablets to PNG

4:15 pm on 8 January 2010

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community is giving out more than 2,200 water quality testing tablets and other supplies to Papua New Guinea provinces affected by cholera.

The resources will enable the National Department of Health to carry out more than 1,700 water chlorination level tests and 500 water pH tests.

Contaminated water and food are the main routes of transmission of cholera, which continues to spread in PNG.

A Pandemic influenza preparedness specialist from the SPC, Dr James Wangi, says the tablets will be used in Morobe, Madang and East Sepik provinces.

"Basically just measuring the chlorination levels of drinking water supply resources to inform people whether their chlorine level is adequate, basically, firstly it's safe. Secondly that you have chlorine around to kill off the cholera germ if it does come into the water supply system."

Dr James Wangi says the SPC's contribution is only a supplement to the World Health Organisation, which is supplying the bulk of water testing tablets needed.