The National – Thursday, December 9, 2010
By ALISON ANIS
CHOLERA continues to claim lives of villagers along the Fly River in Western including Daru but response to providing treatment and other much-needed services has been slow or lacking in places that were badly affected.
According to reports from a team of volunteers who flew into Daru yesterday, the death toll from cholera patients in other districts was increasing while treatment, care and support from the health centres and health authorities, including government, were lacking in most parts especially along the Fly River and Middle Fly.
“The people are helpless. Those who can access oral rehydration salts (ORS) points and other forms of treatment are in better luck than many locals who live further upstream and who are depended on boats or canoes as transport to get to the nearest treatment point,” a volunteer reported.
She said at least one person died from cholera-like symptoms each day in villages along the Fly River including Middle Fly and South Fly where there were no access treatments or health facilities.
“Patients with cholera also suffer from malaria and typhoid. These are two of the most common symptoms that we have detected in cholera patients.”
Meanwhile, the government is waiting for a report of the situation on the ground from the national surveillance team which went there two weeks ago.
It was supposed to report back to the department so that necessary assistance could be given to those affected.