Cholera fears spread as water cuts continue

Lae News, Normal


THERE are fears of a third wave of cholera outbreaks if Lae city continues to experience water disruptions.
Staff members at the cholera treatment centre said that water disruptions would affect the operations of the centre as it relied heavily on clean water for treatment and containment of the virus.
They said if the water supply continued to get disrupted, there would most likely be a third wave of cholera outbreaks which could prove to be disastrous.
According to statistics presented last week by the doctor in charge of the centre, Dan Aisi, the second wave of the outbreak, which occurred last November, severely affected more children under the age of five.
Provincial health adviser Dr Likei Theo said PNG Waterboard and PNG Power should think seriously about speeding up their restoration processes and preventing further problems because water was a necessity.
He said shortage of water could force people to resort to unhealthy habits.
Dr Theo said that schools had just resumed for the year and continuous water disruptions could affect classes.
Referring to last year’s closure of schools, Dr Theo said “if the worst comes to worst, schools in Lae would have to be shut down”.
The cumulative figures from the treatment centre stand at 330 confirmed cases with 17 deaths of which eight came from the surrounding communities.
The Markham district also reported a total of 108 confirmed cases with six deaths, of which three where from outside the treatment unit.