HEALTH officials from Gulf province, who visited the rain-battered Kotidanga and Kaintiba districts, have identified dysentery as the main cause of deaths that were reported from the two districts.
In an official report yet to be submitted to the Government and the National Disaster Centre, the officials stated that the dysentery outbreak in the area due to a shortage of food was responsible for most of the deaths and the continuing health risk to communities there.
Previous reports from the remote affected villages stated that more than 60 people had died from starvation as a result of food shortage that had been experienced by people for almost a year now due to constant heavy rains in the area.
“The outbreak has already been contained in most villages by the visiting health team, however, there is still a possibility of the disease breaking out again due to bad weather conditions that are affecting food consumption in the area,” team leader Robert Saliau said on Monday.
The report stated that dysentery had occurred as a result of people switching food from the usual garden crops like kaukau, yams and bananas to greens and other edible leaves due to food shortage.
“The outbreak has been heightened by bad weather conditions and the scarcity of food that has forced many to live on food elements that are foreign to their body,” the report stated.
The report has confirmed previous reports stating that many people were starving and were in need of immediate assistance with food and other relief supplies.
More than 80 % of the districts have been affected as a result of the disaster and they needed urgent attention from the authorities, the report stated.