25 children die in outbreak


AN outbreak of disease caused by wet weather in Finschhafen, Morobe, has resulted in the death of 25 children since last Friday, according to the provincial health office.
Health authorities who have been monitoring the situation since November have confirmed the deaths in the interior areas of Burum-Kuat and Sopa Valley in the Yabem-Mape local level government.
Most of the children who died were aged between 1 and 10 years. An elderly woman has also died.
Acting provincial health adviser Jack Aita suspects that the deaths were caused by whooping cough, pneumonia or malaria.
Aita said that test results of blood, sputum and stool would confirm the cause of death.
A team was deployed in November and again last month for two weeks to control the situation, but things got worse because of a shortage of medicines and the departure of the health worker who was based at Lengbati Health Centre.
Aita and provincial disease control officer Edwin Benny has arranged for additional medicines to be taken from Lae while another team is already in Sopa Valley to help.
“We will also need manpower to move some medicines at Ogeranang up to Lengbati,” Aita said.
He said the team would be deployed with medicines and vaccines over the weekend.
The affected areas in Lengbati are Tobou, Korumba, Endenen, Gapet and Yagamu (ward 21), Lengbati station, Msanu, Dabliu and Denganu (ward 22), Awengu and Tepmarun (ward 23), Sasiu, Qozorong and Siu (ward 14).
Meanwhile, Menyamya district health officer in-charge Samson Sakaneh reported similar cases in Ami, Menye and Hengiyapa in the Kome LLG.

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