The National- Wednesday, January 12, 2011
By ELIZABETH MIAE
THE National Capital District (NCD) has reported its first death from cholera for the New Year as the spread of the disease in the city becomes more serious.
The latest casualty brings the total number of deaths in NCD to five since the outbreak last May.
When cholera first broke out in the city last year, it claimed three lives from Elevala and one from Tatana villages.
NCD cholera task force leader Dr Timothy Pyakalyia said that the victim who died last Thursday was a male adult who suffered from a kidney disease.
He said as of yesterday morning the number of admissions at the Port Moresby General Hospital’s (PMGH) cholera treatment centre (CTC) stood at 130, adding that these were people with severe diarrhoea.
Pyakalyia said confirmed test results from the Central Public Health Laboratory showed that cholera was present in 24 locations in the city or otherwise widespread.
He said out of 1,436 people (from NCD and Central) who were admitted to the CTCs at the PMGH and St John Hospital in Gerehu, only three deaths were reported.
Pyakalyia highlighted that the medical assistance given by staff at the CTCs and the oral re-hydration points had saved a lot of people’s lives.
He added that cholera was capable of killing many people within hours however it was managed and control very well which resulted in the case fertility rate for NCD below 1%.
While the medical side of things is moving effectively, the spread of the disease was another problem that health authorities are struggling to control.
Pyakalyia told The National that the spread was not only due to the Christmas and New Year celebrations but other factors also.
These factors include poor hygiene practice and sanitation.
He further added that if the trend continued to worsen they would consider opening another CTC in the city.
However, Pyakalyia was most concerned that adults were falling victims to the disease.