The National – Wednesday, December 15, 2010
By JAMES APA GUMUNO
ABOUT 10 people are dying every month from curable sicknesses and birth complications in the remote parts of Lake Kopiago district, Southern Highlands.
The Hewa people, sharing the border with Enga, West Sepik and Western, are badly affected by common preventable sickness like malaria, pneumonia and flu among others.
The deteriorating condition of the road link to Kopiago station from Koroba, lack of medical supplies and shortage of health workers are the main reasons why people are dying from curable sicknesses such as malaria and pregnant mothers in labour died from complications.
About 1,000 people living in Hewa have resorted to herbal remedies.
High fares charged by airlines, no road links and rough mountain terrains are also contributing to the people’s plight.
One of the few educated elites from Kopiago, John Aiyako who recently visited his electorate, said his people were forgotten.
Aiyako said even though millions of kina in district support improvement programme given to the district there was nothing to show for in Kopiago and Hewa.
He said most of the developments were taking place in Koroba since 2002 and were still continuing, adding that the people living in Kopiago and Hewa were still living in nomadic way of living and did not know when their life would change for the better.
Aiyako said the people needed good health services, road, schools and other services to improve their quality of life and reduce high death rate in the area.
He said many teachers posted to the Kopiago were reluctant to take up their postings because of the remoteness of the school.
He demanded an explanation from local MP John Kekeno as to why he had abandoned his people.