By GYNNIE KERO
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says Australian doctors will come in to help medical teams in earthquake-affected areas, as fear of water-borne diseases emerge.
“We know that over the next few days or weeks, most of the water-borne diseases will start affecting some of the population in the area. We have to lift our presence in medical support that we will have to extend to them,” he said.
“Dr Temu (Health Minister Sir Puka) has already cleared for the Australian doctors to come and help us.
“They will come and help our own medical specialists which the Health Department is putting together to dispatch to the remotest communities throughout the country.”
Sir Puka said they were mobilising a team from the Port Moresby General Hospital.
“We have formally requested the Australian Government (to send doctors) because Australian doctors in emergency situations are well organised,” Sir Puka said.
“So we have asked them for assistance which will complement what we have.” O’Neill said relief efforts were ongoing.
“We are starting to reach many of the remote communities, supplying medicine, food and relief supply to the provinces affected,” he said, adding that the district development authorities in areas being allocated funding were assisting the people “which we are not able to reach”.
“Most of the members of Parliament and the district chief executive officers have been trying to mobilise the supplies and in particular medicine, and getting the injured and the sick out of the areas that have been affected,” he said.
He thanked individuals, businesses, donor agencies and governments who were supporting the efforts to deliver supplies to the people.
“They are contributing a significant amount of money. We are using a trust account managed by the Department of Finance especially in buying food and supplying them to remote areas,” O’Neill said.
He said commitments towards the Government’s relief efforts so far had exceeded K100 million. It included donations from governments. “Private sector donations coming through is well over K5 million.”
O’Neill and Sir Puka attended the opening of a K2.6 million kidney dialysis centre in Port Moresby yesterday.
By GYNNIE KERO