DEPUTY Prime Minister Sir Puka Temu on Independence Day conveyed the country’s sympathies to families of those who had died from and are affected by dysentery and cholera outbreaks in Menyamya, Wasu, Lae and parts of Eastern Highlands and Gulf provinces.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to every family on this day and assure you that we are doing all we can with the support of our development partners and the private sector to contain the epidemic at the earliest possible time,” Sir Puka said.
He commended the tireless efforts by provincial and national health authorities, World Health Organisation, AusAID, NGO volunteers and churches and others in the fight against the epidemic and other disasters.
“With the past dilemmas we have faced from natural disasters to diseases and the lives lost as a result, I know no word of comfort from me will replace your loss or reverse your situation today,” he said.
He said it was time for Papua New Guineans to rise above these calamities and move on smarter and stronger.
While paying tribute to those serving in their respective fields to provide much-needed services like the small coffee grower in Okapa, the rural fisherman in Abau, the female teacher and her family in rural Telefomin, the community health worker in Bundi, the policeman in outpost Oksapmin and the pastor and his wife serving on Wuwulu island, these people, Sir Puka said, still go about their daily lives contributing to nation building.
“These are the true heroes we must remember and acknowledge on our 34 years of Independence because our people are highly tolerant and resilient.”