By JEFFREY ELAPA
THE Ramu Sugar cholera treatment unit in Gusap Valley, Madang province, is short of manpower after three health workers quit over non-payment of allowance.
The source who requested anonymity said there was a big threat to the workforce of the Ramu Agro Industries if the cholera situation was not contained.
People diagnosed with watery diarrhoea were still seeking treatment at the unit but the authorities were not looking into the issue, forcing the officers to quit.
District cholera taskforce coordinator James Aiam confirmed with The National that the three officers have left because they were not paid.
“I still have two committed officers working tirelessly to treat the sick but the health unit needs more staff and funding is a big problem,” he said.
Mr Aiam said a total of 105 patients were admitted to the unit since last November and “they are still coming in due to poor hygiene”.
“The people are still selling uncooked food and betelnut, resulting in the continuous spread of cholera. They are just not listening to what the health authorities are saying about the need to practice good personal hygiene,” he said.
Provincial cholera coordinator Br Sibauk Bieb said he had sorted out the problem and health officers were doing their normal clinical work of treating patients.
He said doctors at Ramu Agro Industries have been very helpful and were continuing to support the work to contain the epidemic.