DAISY PAWA TANIOVA
THE health task force for containing the triple cholera, swine dysentery and flu epidemic in Morobe province is not able to give the statistics from all the affected areas.
Chairman of the task force and Morobe provincial programme adviser for Health Dr Likei Theo and his team were in a meeting all day yesterday to discuss and verify figures from the cholera outbreak in Wasu and Lae and the swine dysentery and flu in Menyamya.
He would be holding a press conference this morning to release the figures.
The Government has realised the severity of the epidemic.
Health secretary Dr Clement Malau said last night the Health Minister would be advising the Government to declare a state of emergency in Morobe province.
In the meantime, 10 new cases showing signs and symptoms of cholera have been reported at the Angau Memorial General Hospital quarantined area and are currently under observation, according to two reliable sources who are currently working on site.
This number would now bring the total number of treated patients to 40, an increase from 30 on Sunday evening.
The quarantine site workers at Angau said there were no reports of deaths from cholera in Lae.
They added that the patients were improving and some had already been discharged.
Meanwhile, Dr Theo has advised Lae city residents to take extra precautions in caring for their hygiene as the recent outbreak of cholera in the province was believed to be a result of poor living conditions.
He said cholera and other types of diarrhoea could be avoided if the “five Fs” of hygiene were practised.
This would mean boiling all fluids, eat food which is properly cooked and avoid eating cooked food from open markets.
Fingers or hands should be washed with soap or ash after visiting the toilet and before handling food.
Flies should not be allowed to sit on food and faeces should be deposited in pit latrines or covered with sand or soil.