JOE KORO of NWS
THE cholera outbreak in Lae is bound to receive point-of-care testing diagnostic kits from the private sector soon to help contain the disease from spreading into other districts in Morobe and nearby provinces.
Lae is densely populated and is easily-accessible by the five Highlands provinces and Madang by road.
Lae is also the major sea port for cargo and passenger ships transiting to the New Guinea mainland, Papuan coast and New Guinea islands.
North West Scientific Ltd, a pharmaceutical company, has dispatched antigen rapid test kits for detecting Vibrio cholerae bacteria from fecal samples to Angau Memorial Hospital.
Managing director Gideon Philip said his firm specialised in point-of-care testing and was on alert to provide diagnostic capacity where necessary.
A similar rapid respond was under taken when the Rabaul task force on swine flu requested influenza antigen rapid test kits
He urged people in Lae and the surrounding provinces to take special note of the health message from health authorities.
Personal hygiene at this time is paramount, particularly for people bunked up in crowded settlements along the banks of the Bumbu River, East and West Taraka, Omili and Bumbu.
Cholera is an infectious disease that is caused by the Vibrio cholerae bacteria.
The bacteria infects the linings of the small intestine making it dysfunctional.
Therefore, it cannot properly digest food resulting in severe diarrhoea and vomiting. The heavy loss of body fluid leads to dehydration and shock if a doctor is not consulted immediately.
The SD bioline cholera antigen rapid test kit is third-generation rapid test kit, thermo-stable and has a long shelf life of 24 months.
It is simple, rapid and accurate and it is suitable for field and point-of-care application.
It does not need other sophisticated laboratory equipment to diagnose Vibrio cholerae antigen.