DAISY TANIOVA PAWA
MOROBE provincial outbreak taskforce coordinator Dr Victor Golpak has described the weekend attempted break-in of a unit occupied by Dr Aramburu Carmen as an embarrassment to residents of Lae and those who have been working closely with her.
Dr Golpak said that Dr Carmen had contributed greatly during the outbreak and it was a disappointment for her to leave the province “in such a manner”.
At the early hours of Saturday morning, thugs attempted to break into Dr Carmen’s unit at Lae International Hotel, when she awoke and escaped through a window, alerting the security guards.
Dr Golpak said Dr Carmen was clearly in a distressed state and refused to remain in the province for fear of her security.
She was flown back to Port Moresby on the same day and will be leaving the country for Australia on Thursday.
Asked if her departure was a major loss to the province, Dr Golpak said that it would be a major loss if the incident occurred earlier.
Dr Carmen was the team leader and coordinator for the World Health Organisation and had been a consultant to Dr Golpak at the height of the outbreak.
While most of her team members had left the province, Dr Carmen remained to complete debriefing sessions with Dr Golpak before she left.
“Debriefing is simply an analysis of the outbreak and how it was managed since the onset.
“This information will be important as it would be a reference if future outbreaks were to occur in other provinces,” he said.
Dr Golpak condemned the incident and said that this should not have happened to someone who was here to help.
Meanwhile, the situation in Lae, Wasu and Menyamya has been described as “contained” with no reports of deaths as the second phase of prevention begins.
A summary of surveillance for cholera in the affected areas showed that there were 322 cases with 18 deaths.
Dysentery recorded 1,262 cases with 44 deaths while influenza claimed 62 lives and affected 4,917 people in the province.