The National –Friday, January 7, 2011
By ELIZABETH MIAE
THE rainy season and poor hygiene have triggered the rapid spread of cholera in National Capital District (NCD) and Central in November and December last year.
According to the NCD cholera task force, the Port Moresby General Hospital’s (PMGH) cholera treatment centre (CTC) recorded six cases per day during November.
By December, they were treating eight cases per day and 10 cases per day beginning this month.
These statistics were part of the review for the outbreak in NCD that task force leader Dr Timothy Pyakalyia will be presenting to the Health Department today.
He said the total number of admissions recorded at PMGH and St John Hospital CTCs from May to December last year was 1,436 of which 829 were from NCD and 607 from Central.
He added that a total of 1,969 cases (suspected cases) were treated at the eight oral re-hydration points established within the urban clinics.
Pyakalyia said NCD alone, recorded 2,798 cholera cases adding that there was still more to do as the disease would be around for a long time.
Despite the increasing number of cases, Pyakalyia was thankful to the staff that worked to manage the patients and kept the death toll below 10.
He said that some risk factors would be addressed in order for the communities to be free from such water-borne and lifestyle disease.
Pyakalyia was particularly concerned about the rise of squatter settlements everywhere in the city with no proper water supply or sanitation.
He told The National that ordinary people living in the settlements were admitted to the CTC and a few from homes that have good water supply and sanitation but practiced poor hygiene.
He is appealing to the public to take ownership of their health and look after it.