10 Nov 2009

Health officials in PNG hope to complete cholera treatment unit

12:04 pm on 10 November 2009

Health officials in Papua New Guinea's Madang hope to complete a longer-term cholera treatment unit within the next few days in light of an outbreak.

More than 300 people are now being treated against the diarrhea infection, which can kill healthy people within hours.

A World Health Organisation epidemiologist, Alexander Rosewell, says they have set up a temporary cholera treatment unit in the Modilon hospital emergency department.

But Dr Rosewell says they are also building a facility on the hospital grounds to help keep the sickness at bay.

"Progress has been made in digging the trenches and the layout of where the treatment centre will go, also looking at the latrines and other items of infection control for the treatment centre and hopefully that will be finished within the coming days."

Alexander Rosewell says authorities are still considering whether to declare a public health emergency as in neighbouring Morobe.