19 Oct 2009

PNG health officials relaunch campaign after more people contract cholera

8:32 pm on 19 October 2009

Health officials in Papua New Guinea's second city, Lae, are planning to relaunch a campaign calling for improved hygiene amid a resurgence of cholera.

The disease claimed more than 20 lives during August and September but a public health emergency and extensive international aid support allowed for a hygiene campaign and which eased the outbreak.

However last week another 15 people were diagnosed with cholera and the provincial health administrator, Dr Likei Theo, says people seemed to gone back their old, unsafe ways.

He says the emergency remains in place but with the NGOs and international agencies having left the region, it's been difficult to maintain the hygiene call.

"We don't have the capacity to continue to sustain the force of it, to make sure that those who are cooking the food on the street are not allowed to do so, and other things - the people of the settlements do anything they like. So we are trying to build up our capacity again by recalling our partners and probably we can resume our extensive campaign."

Dr Likei Theo.