HEALTH authorities in Morobe province set up a task force last Friday to carry out awareness and take preventative measures against the cholera outbreak.
In its immediate plans, the task force will call on the National Government to declare a state of emergency in Morobe’s capital of Lae and Wasu in Tewai-Siassi electorate.
The task force held three consecutive meetings last Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The team led by the World Health Organisation has national and provincial Health officials, churches, business houses and non-governmental organisations.
Campaigns started over the weekend led by Bobby Wani of Morobe provincial Health division.
Its message stressed the five ‘Fs’: fluid, food, fingers, faeces and flies.
The five ‘Fs’ have been preached from the pulpit by Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea, a member of the task force, in its Sunday services throughout the city and in all nine districts.
ELC-PNG health secretary Nena Nagg said it was important that people strictly observe their general and basic health rules.
Mr Nagg said the church will set up two depots for Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) in its health centres at the Tent City and the Ampo Clinic which is located at ELC-PNG head office.
He added that all drinking water should be boiled or diluted with five milliliters of household bleach for every two litres of water.
He stressed that hands are to be kept clean, proper toilets be used and human wastes be covered, and flies be kept away from food at all times.
Fresh food bought from the markets must be washed and fruits are to be peeled and washed before eating, he said.
Other measures are to map out the affected area and set depots for ORS in the affected areas.
ORS is a powder containing sugar and salt dissolved in water and drunk to prevent cholera. A packet of powder is to be added to a litre of water and diluted before drinking.
Mr Nagg was very concerned about the people living in affected areas of Wasu, Sio and Etep in Tewai-Siassi area, and suspected areas of Bumbu settlement and East and West Taraka in Lae.
Mr Nagg said cholera could kill within seven or eight days, “therefore, anyone with continuous diarrhoea without stomach aches must take lots of fluid and report to the nearest medical centre for help”.
Cholera is a water-borne disease as the bacteria lives in water contaminates water then affects people when drinking the polluted water.
Cholera is also transmitted by flies from human waste to food or water and affects people in process of consumption.