261 affected in outbreak

National, Normal


THE Momade and the Finch compounds in the Sisiak area outside Madang town have been seriously affected by cholera and diarrhoea outbreak.
The number of people affected by the disease rose to 261 on Wednesday.
Clinical team coordinator Dr Sibauk Bieb told The National in an interview that 34 new cases were reported on Monday and Tuesday while another 24 were reported at the Modilon Hospital on Wednesday.
Among them were 10 children from the same settlement.
Sibauk is about 1km away from the residential suburb of Newtown.
It is a big and highly populated settlement with more than 3,000 people, mostly from East Sepik, Simbu, Enga, Southern Highlands, Western Highlands and Morobe provinces.
Settlers here have no access to clean or treated water from the water supply.
Their water comes from a well which is piped and stored in cemented catchments built with the assistance of World Vision last year.
It overflows when the cement catchments are full and the people carry containers to fetch water for drinking, cooking and washing laundries.
Above the water well are houses with no proper toilet and when it rains, all the waste, from up hill was washed down and deposited into the well often which the entire area becomes smelly.
There is also a market which often operates until late in the night and people still sell cooked and fried food like lamb flaps, buai and other consumable food items.
Since the outbreak, the market has been closed but few women are still being seen selling kaukau and betelnut although they understand the place has been hit by the epidemic.
Benny Max from Enga said the most affected area of Simbu block had a beer outlet which operated till late and people disposed their waste everywhere because there was no proper toilet.
The National visited the settlement on Wednesday, and saw young children with water container fetching water from the contaminated water source.
When they were queried, they said they had no choice but had to get water from there for drinking, cooking and washing.
They said they would boil the water before drinking it.