By JEFFREY ELAPA
THE lack of funds has forced the Madang provincial task force to halt all cholera operations in the province although the epidemic is spreading at an alarming rate.
It is more than three months after the outbreak was reported in early September, however, the operations had been dependent on limited funds donated by partners.
The had been no funding from the National Government and the Health Department in containing the epidemic, which is likely to lead to a national health emergency declaration.
Early yesterday, the task force decided to cease all operations because of lack of funding.
The province indicated it needed K3 million to run the operations.
Morobe and East Sepik provinces are also understood to be in need of more than K3 million each to fully implement priority programmes to contain outbreaks and possible spread.
Despite submitting a K703,000 budget to the National Health Department following the resubmission of a prioritised list by the Madang committee, nothing has been forthcoming.
Although operations like awareness, surveillances, logistics and water and sanitation programmes have come to a halt, the cholera treatment centre and the command centre will continue to operate without funds.
This was the resolution passed by the provincial task force committee in a meeting.
They said that since the outbreak, the task force had huge accumulating debts of more than K3 million for allowances for staff and volunteers, logistics and other operational cost incurred over the past months.