Cholera exhausts resources at health post

National, Normal

The National- Friday, January 14, 2011

 STAFF at the Kupiano health centre in Central’s Abau district are desperate for extra manpower, more funding and medical supplies as they try to treat cholera patients from villages in the Marshall Lagoon area following another outbreak during Christmas and New Year.

The nursing officer in charge Bora Dagasim who spoke to The National from Kupiano yesterday said that about 10 patients were admitted to the cholera treatment centre daily.

He said oral re-hydration points that were set up at Wanigela, Waiori and Gavuone villages during the outbreak last year should be reopened to cater for patients with mild diarrhoea.

Dagasim said a representative from the health centre travelled to Port Moresby yesterday to seek assistance from Abau MP Sir Puka Temu, adding that they were confident he would respond positively.

During the last year’s outbreak, Sir Puka assisted the Wanigela and Waiori villagers with food supplies. 

The villagers were frightened of the deadly disease that they avoided fishing and gardening which was an important part of their livelihood. 

Dagasim said when the outbreak first occurred in June and July last year, they were able to contain it and reduced the number of admissions at the centre to five or six cases daily.

However, the number increased during the months of November, December and beginning of January.  

“We are still struggling to contain the outbreak but we are doing our best. We know that cholera is here to stay,” he told The National.

Dagasim also clarified earlier reports that three people and not five had died on Mailu Island after the outbreak. 

He said the three who died were two adults and a child and as of Wednesday Mailu recorded 50 cases from the 44 that was reported last week.