[Bible Prophecy News] Papua New Guinea's cholera outbreak 'rapidly spreading'

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Pastor Dale Morgan

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May 18, 2010, 6:34:07 AM5/18/10
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 Plagues, Pestilences and Diseases

Papua New Guinea's cholera outbreak 'rapidly spreading'

ILYA GRIDNEFF
May 18, 2010 - 6:49PM

AAP

A cholera outbreak in Papua New Guinea's capital Port Moresby is spreading as health officials voice frustration over the lack of government support.

PNG's Health Minister Sasa Zibe earlier this month declared a public health emergency in the capital, in the latest flare-up of a cholera outbreak that was first detected in remote provinces in August last year.

This latest outbreak, centred in coastal villages around Port Moresby, has resulted in 573 suspected cases and seven deaths.

On Tuesday, PNG's Post Courier newspaper reported funds to fight the epidemic had dried up and the government's promised three million kina ($A1.2 million) had not yet been released.

Cholera Taskforce representative Dr Tim Pyakalyia told the paper he was frustrated by the lack of support.

"We cannot ignore it any longer. But if we need to enforce certain measures, we need help from the government and from departments like police," he said.

"Tragically, the government has not woken up to this fact yet," he said.

The Australian government has given $A655,400 in funding to the World Health Organisation (WHO) which will be used to purchase oral rehydration salts and other medicines.

"This funding will be used to increase water quality surveillance and to train health-care staff in detecting cholera as early as possible," said Australia's High Commissioner to PNG Ian Kemish.

The funding follows Australia's initial commitment of 2.2 million kina ($A880,000) made available when cholera was first detected last year in Morobe Province on the northern coast of PNG.

Since the first reported cholera case, more than 3000 have been confirmed nationwide with estimates of between 60 and 100 related deaths.

Cholera is an intestinal infection that is mainly transmitted through contaminated water and food, and is closely linked to inadequate environmental management.

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