Botten sees relief work as key to preventing disaster

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HEALTH issues arising from the earthquake can be potential disasters if relief operations are not coordinated properly, says Oil Search managing director Peter Botten, pictured.
He was explaining Oil Search operations in assisting communities cut off from health services and how there was a strong team effort towards it.
“We are still carrying out what we consider to be first-responder activities.
“And I am pleased to say that the roads are progressively being opened up and heavier materials can be transported to various areas,” he said.
“We have done 87 supply drops with our helicopters since March. We have actually had, with the fantastic help of the Australia and New Zealand military, around 22 tonnes of relief material delivered into our Moro airbase. And from our own charters, we have delivered 28 tonnes. So it is about 50 tonnes.
“And 10 tonnes have been medical supplies to support pretty much every health centre in Southern Highlands, Hela and Western.”
Botten said some people were suffering from diarrhoea because of the lack of access to clean water.
“There are health issues broadly as people are weakened and quite mentally challenged by the events,” he said.
Botten said there was high chance of an outbreak of diarrhoea and other illness and the National Disaster Committee meetings was coordinating the mitigation of health issues.
“We are seeing people coming into the Hela provincial health authority network in Tari and other clinics and also for our own doctor patrol on helicopters,” he said

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