SIX children have died and many are in critical condition after being infected by cholera and other diseases in the Bogia district.
Bogia MP and Agriculture and Livestock Minister John Hickey told The National that six children had died of diarrhoea-related illness in his village on the other side of the Ramu River due to shortage of health workers.
“People are dying in the remote places but Government employees do not go into these remote areas to find out how people are living.
“There had been several deaths as a result of watery diarrhoea-related cases but the cases are not reported. No health workers have been there and no help has been given to the people,” he said.
Mr Hickey said children were particularly at risk during the wet season as they unintentionally drink contaminated water while playing in the river.
“The days of the toilet are gone and without trained health workers, the survival chances of the young children are slim,” he added.
Romnos Jong from Kaing village, the most severely affected village at the mouth of the Ramu River, said the health authorities were not reporting the situation accurately.
“The rate of the cholera epidemic is not as severe as reported but the people are able to contain it through awareness. There were only two deaths to date,” he said.
Provincial cholera coordinator Dr Sibauk Bieb said there was a big problem with several cholera treatment units in the district.
“We need to work together and have regular meetings with all the task force committees,” he added.