Simbu on cholera alert

Highlands, Normal


SIMBU province has banned the sale of certain cooked food on the streets, roadside and locals markets after four people suspected to be diagnosed with cholera were admitted at the Kundiawa General Hospital.
The provincial health authority, the Kundiawa hospital management, police and provincial government held an emergency meeting two weeks ago and stopped the sales of cooked lamb flaps, sausages and flours balls.
The ban covers the entire province and it would be in force until the spread of cholera in Morobe and Eastern Highlands provinces is contained and brought under control.
Kundiawa General Hospital’s director of medical service, Dr Harry Poka, confirmed yesterday that four people suspected of cholera were admitted at the hospital two weeks ago but discharged later.
Dr Poka said these four suspects were diagnosed with malaria and typhoid.
However, he said one of the wards in the hospital was empty and prepared to accommodate any sick person suspected of being infected with cholera.
Nevertheless, Dr Poka said the ban they imposed on cooked food would still be in force for some time.
He said they would advice the people to go back to their normal business when the cholera outbreak in Morobe and Eastern Highlands provinces had been contained.
He said cholera was dangerous and would kill if allowed to spread in the province.
Meanwhile, the Mt Hagen city authority is conducting awareness in the city and stopping city residents and nearby villagers from selling cooked food.
City manager Victor Megao said yesterday that they went on air over EagleFM and also physically visited all suburbs in the city in the past two weeks to educate the people about cholera.
Mr Megao said due to lack of manpower and logistic, they could not stop people from selling cooked food but plans were underway to form a task force to ban their sale.