By ELIZABETH MIAE
A GOOD number of Lealea villagers in Central’s West Hiri district spend their independence weekend recei-
ving treatment at the cholera centres at the Papa clinic and Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH).
Reports said more than 60 people were admitted at these centres and treated for cholera during the long weekend.
NCD cholera task force leader Dr Timothy Pyakalyia blamed the revival of the disease on the unhygienic preparation and handling of the food and drinks during the celebrations.
Reports said one was admitted last Thursday, two last Friday, 18 last Saturday and 22 the following day, 10 on Monday and another 10 on Tuesday.
Pyakalyia said the treatment centres had also reported new cases from villagers at the Brown River and Goldie River areas along the Hiritano Highway.
He said plans were underway to carry out massive awareness campaigns against mass preparation and cooking of food and homemade drinks during major gatherings like funeral feasts, bride price payments and others.
He said the option was to bring along and distribute raw food and practise basic hygiene.
“We need to discourage the mass preparation of food during celebrations. We fear that the same thing is going to happen,” Pyakalyia said.
He also warned the public to be cautious of where they get their water from and how they use it during the dry spell.
Hiri district health coordinator Michael Masket said the outbreak was not as serious as when it first struck in early May.
Operations at the Papa clinic had been scaled down with only two people working at the cholera centre.
He said after the long weekend, people with mild symptoms of cholera turned up for treatment.
However, those needing further checks and treatment were referred to the general hospital.
“We are supplying oral rehydration salts and other medical supplies to Papa clinic as well as carrying out awareness,” Masket said.