THE deaths from dysentery, influenza and cholera in remote Obura-Wonenara in Eastern Highlands province will rise because of lack of health workers in the district, according to a former MP.
One-time Obura-Wonenara MP Peter Gaige blamed the Eastern Highlands provincial administration for this, saying it should not have relocated public servants from the remote Marawaka station to Aiyura, in neighbouring Kainantu electorate.
“Public servants, including health workers, are operating by remote controls out of Aiyura. None of them is on the ground assessing the devastation caused by the influenza, dysentery and cholera along the Andakombi, Marawaka and Simbari borders,” Mr Gaige said in Goroka.
He said since the temporary relocation of Obura-Wonenara district manpower to Aiyura, the public servants rarely visited the district, included the disease-prone areas.
“There are no health workers in Marawaka and surrounding areas and I won’t be surprised to know if more deaths occur in those areas as a result of the outbreak,” Mr Gaige, a former health worker from the district, said.
He accused the provincial administration for neglecting the district and not bothering with regular inspections.
Mr Gaige said the provincial administration would see whether public servants appointed to various positions in the district were actually there or not.
He said public servants were only operating out of Aiyura while the entire area in the district was without the presence of any public servants to serve the 25,000 people in the district.
The provincial government was sending a fact-finding team to the area but Mr Gaige said there were no public servants there to provide accurate or reliable information to the team.
Mr Gaige said community health workers were working in health centres without the supervision of health extension officers because there was none.
He said 12 aid posts in the area have been shut down due to the provincial administration’s neglect and community health workers (CHW) were now congregated at Marawaka health centre.