DAISY TANIOVA PAWA
THE PNG Defence Force stepped in to assist the Morobe province to contain the outbreak of water-borne diseases.
The PNGDF will be working closely with the head of the Morobe Task Force and provincial disaster office.
It will be providing logistical support to ferry medicines and other necessary supplies to the affected areas.
The provincial administration had been lacking logistical support to deal with the outbreak of cholera in Wasu and Lae and the double swine dysentery and flu in Menyamya.
The PNGDF will provide assistance through air support for shipment and transportation of Defence medical personnel.
A helicopter and a fixed wing aircraft will be available for use.
The command post will be at the provincial disaster centre.
Joint Task Force commander Major Ivan Timo, younger brother of Morobe Disaster Office coordinator Roy Kameng, said yesterday that 42 personnel from Port Moresby would be deployed to the province.
The team consists of 20 medical staff from Taurama Barracks, 12 air crew from the Air Transport Wing and 10 administrators from the Joint Operations Centre at Murray Barracks.
A platoon (35 men) of sappers from Lae’s Igam Barracks Engineering Battalion will also be assisting the team from Port Moresby by providing manpower if there is a need to construct tents or other constructions.
On Saturday, 10 PNGDF medical orderlies were deployed to Menyamya, direct from Port Moresby.
The next 10 are believed to have arrived in Lae yesterday for deployment to Wasu today.
Two shipments were also flown into Menyamya on Saturday using a PNGDF helicopter.
They consisted of 76 four-gallon water containers, 60 cartons of soap and 36 bales of toilet tissue donated by the PNG Red Cross.
Two shipments were also being planned for yesterday to distribute toiletries and water containers to Wasu, from where supplies to Kabwum will also be transported by road.