Malaria cases high among farm employees

Lae News, Normal

The National – Tuesday, February 15, 2011

POOR water and sanitation at the farms along the Highlands highway in Wampar, Huon Gulf, have contributed to an increase in farm workers contracting malaria.
The Markham Farms Ltd general manager Beulah Mapi Merrick raised the concern at the Huon Gulf district office when presenting a cheque for K500 to assist the district’s World Tuberculosis(TB) Day to be hosted at Wampar Health Centre on March 24.
She said that due to poor water and sanitation, the lives of 670 employees of the farm was at risk to mosquitoes that causes malaria.
“For TB, we not sure yet if there are any cases, but through TB awareness, the information could enable employees to understand how contagious TB disease is, how it is transmitted and that it can be cured,” Merrick said at a TB awareness session last Friday.
World Vision’s Huon Gulf district advocacy communication social mobilisation coordinator Emilly Meren is currently carrying out TB awareness in the farms and companies along the highway.
After the private sector, she will go into the communities.
Meren said TB is an airborne disease and can only be transmitted by coughing and not by any other means.
Merrick was pleased when she learned about the new TB laboratory being built at Wampar Health Centre to be launched during the World TB Day.
The laboratory was the collaborative initiative of the district Huon Gulf district health and WV to make awareness on the disease, the district’s health coordinator Pendek Sitong said.
Sitong added that people had to be mindful about TB or the disease would spread.
Meanwhile, Merrick said she was grateful to assist in anyway possible and also suggested that World Vision initiate “TB ribbon” for selling to raise funds for the day.
The Morobe Mining Joint Venture and Mainland Holdings Ltd pledged their support.