Cholera situation ‘quiet once more’

Lae News, Normal


THE work of the cholera outbreak task force in Morobe province has been boosted by a  K42,000 grant from Unicef.
The money would go towards assisting with water and sanitation projects in the affected settlements of Lae.
Twenty-four ventilation-improved pit (VIP) latrines will be constructed in some settlements.
Provincial health inspector Peter Watorvo said at the outbreak briefing yesterday that 20 Tuffa tanks with the capacity to hold  9,000l of water would be set up in the areas where the VIP latrines would be constructed.
These measures were taken by the task force as part of the prevention phase.
The construction of the pit latrines and the installation of the tanks would only be carried out within city limits.
Prevention issues for the affected areas outside of Lae had been held back by lack of funding as the task force awaits the K8 million from the Government.
Task force chairman Dr Likei Theo said yesterday that there had been no word from the National Government about the money.
A surveillance is currently being carried out by the PNG Defence Force preventative medicine officers and officers from the Lae city policing unit, city council and Huon district.
The activities carried out during this campaign would include inspections and surveillance of kaibars, street vending and licensed premises.
The group visited Aigris Market and Top Town yesterday.
This campaign would continue until Nov 4.
The areas covered will be Kamkumung, Awagasi, Bumbu, Malahang, Bumayong, West Taraka, East Taraka, Igam, Bundi Camp, Boundary Road, Papuan Compound, Main Market, Voco Point and Two, Four and Five miles.
Mr Watorvo said there was a possibility that most food bars could be shut or be given notices as “many of this bars do not comply with health standards”.
Meanwhile, Dr Theo had said the “situation looks to be quiet once more”
An MSF officer working at the cholera treatment centre (CTC) reported that they treated seven cases of cholera between Oct 19 and 27.
“This would be roughly one case a day since the city was put on alert two weeks ago,” she said.
Dr Theo has advised all sectors of the task force to “maintain intensity” of their activities for the next three months.