More deaths likely if health issues ignored, says doctor

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By Rebecca Kuku
A DOCTOR has warned that more people will die if health issues in areas affected by the earthquake are not immediately addressed.
Dr Sam Yockopua, the Chief of Emergency Medicine in the Health Department, told The National yesterday that there were many public health issues which needed to be addressed immediately before people died from curable diseases in the earthquake-affected areas.
“Food-borne and water-borne diseases are just two of the many diseases that thousands may die from if we don’t start addressing the issues now,” he said.
“For example, from one of the areas that health officers recently visited, 80 people came in with injuries caused by the earthquake, while more than 100 came in to be treated for food-borne and water-borne diseases,” he said.
Yockopua said the priority now was to ensure that public health issues were addressed before they got out of hand.
He also called for more medicine supplies to be provided to medical teams to treat people.
“The Health Department has already sent in two teams to Tari and Mendi made up of one specialist medical officer, two paramedics, two public health officers and one specialist nurse. Both teams will focus on primary and public health cases.”