By WALLACE KIALA
THE World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that water supply authorities ensure piped water supply in urban and semi-urban areas is well-treated to prevent the spread of water-borne diseases like cholera.
WHO chief in PNG, Dr Eigil Sorensen, said yesterday that clean and safe drinking water would prevent bacteria from spreading diseases.
Dr Sorensen said the water authorities must improve chlorination to the main water supply systems which serve the people in cities and towns which have settlements spread all over the country.
“The authorities must also be mindful to ensure leakages in main piped water systems are monitored and repaired regularly,” he added.
Medical Society of Papua New Guinea president, Dr Mathias Sapuri, said yesterday cholera was now a clear epidemic in the country.
“PNG has come to a phase where cholera is now an epidemic, where we can expect a pattern of rapid spread to other provinces if we continue to ignore basic hygiene and sanitation,” Dr Sapuri said.
“The public needs to be vigilant and constantly reminded that simple health practices such as washing of hands and consuming clean and safe drinking water are crucial to help check the spread of cholera
“Clean and safe drinking water for villagers who rely on rivers or wells is most important. Such water must be boiled before consumption,” he said.
Dr Sapuri said some rural communities still did not have proper sanitation facilities and used bushes and rivers as toilets.
“They must stop doing that and start building proper toilets,” he added.