17 Nov 2009

Cholera outbreak in Papua New Guinea's Madang affecting more than 400

5:01 pm on 17 November 2009

The Madang health department in Papua New Guinea is still waiting for national funding to help fight a cholera outbreak which it says is now affecting over 400 people.

Cholera is a diarrhoeal infection caused by ingesting bacteria in water or food, and can kill healthy people within hours.

The Madang provincial health director says about twenty people a day are coming through the Modilon hospital to seek treatment.

Mark Kachau says they have so far only received help from the provincial government, the World Health Organisation and other aid agencies.

"We need additional manpower in the areas of case management, water supply, sanitation, and awareness. We should get it on, but we are still waiting for the government to make available funds that have been requested and promised for the cholera response. We haven't got those funds in as yet."

Mark Kachau says the Madang health department has asked the government for 1.15 million US dollars to fight the disease.