The National – Wednesday, December 29, 2010
By ELIZABETH MIAE
SIXTY people from National Capital District and parts of Central have been admitted at the Port Moresby General Hospital’s cholera treatment centre (CTC) over the long weekend with authorities fearing the number would increase in the next few days into the New Year.
NCD cholera task force team leader Dr Timothy Pyakalyia said the CTC started receiving patients with severe diarrhoea on Christmas Eve up until yesterday morning, bringing the total number of patients admitted to the centre to 219 for December alone.
Pyakalyia described December as the worst month with a high number of reported cases being admitted since the outbreak last May.
He did not specify which area had a high number of patients admitted but said majority came from the Wanigela settlement in Koki, while others came from Morata, Erima, 8-Mile, 9-Mile, Hanuabada and Bereina and Kwikila in Central.
A frustrated Pyakalyia told The National that people were lucky that there was good road conditions and communication that enabled them to access treatment quickly unlike those affected in Western.
He said staff at the CTC had been working round the clock since last week and were likely to continue as the New Year approaches with more feasting and drinking.
Pyakalyia stressed that cholera was an easy disease to prevent, however, people were ignoring good hygiene.
“If the medical staff did not do their job, we would have many people dying but we are lucky that our staffs have been taught how to manage cholera patients. People are coming into the CTC alive,” he said.
“NCDC and Eda Ranu are not doing their bit to help. I’ve been reporting to the governor’s office since the outbreak but nothing has come about in terms of improving water supply and sanitation (in the city).”
He said the Wanigela settlement was an overcrowded community with poor sanitation and not enough water supply posing a high health.
Pyakalyia said cholera had become endemic.