31 Aug 2009

Cholera latest killer illness in PNG, as dysentry and flu deaths rise

3:17 pm on 31 August 2009

Cholera is the latest illness to afflict villages in Papua New Guinea's Morobe province with at least five people dead and 80 more suffering from the water borne disease.

PNG health authorities are already struggling to cope with outbreaks of dysentry and influenza which have killed a further forty eight people in other remote villages over the past three weeks.

The health advisor for the province, Dr Theo Likei, says a medical team from the World Health Organisation have just returned from the coastal village where the latest deaths occurred.

"They went down there already, collect the sample and then came back. And that's how they've confirmed the cholera for us. But we are yet to take the necessary action to make sure the situation is truly under control and to make sure that precautionary measures are taken by the villagers as much as possible."

Dr Likei says transporting supplies and medical staff to help people in the remote rural villages is a major problem.