4 Sep 2007

Typhoid outbreak in PNG disputed

3:13 pm on 4 September 2007

The school at the centre of an alleged typhoid outbreak in Enga province in Papua New Guinea says it believes the numbers involved have been misreported by disgruntled students.

An official at Wabag Secondary school says a number of students have sought treatment at the hospital for a range of illnesses that might include typhoid as well as flu or malaria.

But he says this is normal for the size of the school.

A group of senior students from the school called the the Post-Courier newspaper to report that about 400 students from the school have been confirmed typhoid positive.

A senior student, who did not want to be named for fear of being penalised by school authorities, said that the situation was worsening.

He alleged the management of the school were turning a blind eye to the matter.

Wabag Hospital has confirmed that several hundred students from the school have been diagnosed.

A hospital executive said hundreds of students had alluded to poor kitchen facilities, badly managed amenities, especially toilets, and the bad state of dormitories.