Cholera sweeping through ESP

National, Normal


THE number of cholera cases in East Sepik province has reached 343 and is increasing.
Provincial coordinator for the cholera response team Dr John Sairere
confirmed  yesterday.
Dr Sairere said the number of cumulative cases  since last Friday was 343.
This had been an increase of 62 cases since last Monday’s reported toll of 281.
The number of deaths still remains unchanged at nine.
The affected areas include Kambaramba with 222 cases and three dead, Moim with 49 cases and three dead, Biwat with nine cases and one dead, Angoram station with 44 cases and one dead, Karau with two cases and Wewak 17 cases.
Dr Sairere however, made mention that the cases in Kambaramba have come under control due to the hard work of the staff stationed at the site.
He said the provincial task force had come up with measures to prevent further outbreaks in other districts.
He confirmed that the Angoram district had already set up a task force to address surveillance and laboratory investigations; clinical management and infection control; logistics, both medical and non-medical; information, education and communication materials for promotion and awareness; and environmental health and support services.
The task force will be coordinated by Moses Wapan and Dr Michael Lalam.
Dr Sairere said he would be travelling to Maprik to set up a task force as well.
“This task force will be ready if an outbreak of cholera eventually occurs in the district,” he said
Other task forces will be set up in other districts. 
He said the move was in line with the provincial task force theme, “Let cholera chase us” 
With the fast increase of new cases in certain areas of the province, Dr Sairere has raised concerns about funding to address the outbreak.
He said a total of K84,000 had been used to respond to the outbreak and he might need another K3 million to control and contain the outbreak.
He said he was expecting additional funding from the East Sepik provincial administration and
Angoram MP Arthur Somare.
Dr Sairere thanked the Health Department for the technical support.
He also thanked aid agencies such as World Health Organisation, Unicef, Oxfam International, European Union and MSF for providing support in response to
the outbreak
He said a medical team from MSF had volunteered to provide training on clinical management and infection control and have staff in place at the isolation ward in Wewak General Hospital.
Meanwhile, there are concerns that stigma within the communities surrounding the affected areas are posing difficulties for villagers trying to sell their produce at markets.