10 Sep 2009

PNG Govt declares public health emergency in disease-hit Morobe

7:51 am on 10 September 2009

Papua New Guinea's Health Minister, Sasa Zibe, says a public health emergency in disease-hit Morobe Province will give medical teams more resources.

Mr Zibe declared the emergency yesterday, as outbreaks of shigella bacteria in the inland district of Menyamya and cholera around Tewai/Siassi and now into Lae City leaves at least 90 people dead.

Mr Zibe says that after extensive consultations with the government executive, the World Health Organisation, local leaders and AusAID, he has decided to enact provisions for improved medical treatment for affected areas.

"This emergency gives more power to the medical workers and the community members, that will work to improve the situation. They need additional help, in light of the information received."

PNG Health Minister Sasa Zibe.