THE spread of cholera to other provinces will continue unabated unless the Government provides adequate resources to contain the outbreak, the Health Department said on Monday.
Health Secretary Dr Clement Malau said in a statement that the department was still waiting for the Department of National Planning and Monitoring to release funds for cholera containment efforts in Morobe and Madang provinces despite more recent talks just a month ago.
Dr Malau also highlighted that the department had exhausted all its funds.
As a result, detailed cholera containment plans for the Morobe and Madang provinces could not be implemented.
He indicated that the delay was frustrating, especially with the latest outbreak along Sepik River villages in East Sepik province.
The outbreak hit Angoram at Kambaramba and its neighbouring villages, infecting more than 100 people so far.
Dr Malau said a team comprising the Health Department, World Health Organisation (WHO), Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), Save the Children and the provincial health authority was in the area to try to contain the outbreak there.
He said the East Sepik provincial government had been briefed about the situation.
“The department is providing K24,800 while a further K20,000 is being provided by WHO to East Sepik.
“WHO also gave K25,000 for the outbreak in Madang.
“I would like to commend all our development partners and NGOs that have been behind us in the fight against cholera and I make particular mention of MSF.
“PNG has been really fortunate to have their support without which the cholera situation in Morobe could have been worse,” Dr Malau said.
Meanwhile, the National Doctors’ Association (NDA) has criticised the Government for not providing any money for the outbreak, adding that it was inhumane as lives were being lost because of the diseases.
“We can not do our work if there are no funds available for us to use to help those who are affected.
“The Government must have some funds available for such disease outbreaks because many lives will be lost if we just ignore them,” the NDA said in a statement.