11 May 2005

Humanatarian Co-ordinator confirms deaths in PNG care centres

9:22 pm on 11 May 2005

The Chairman of the Manam Humanitarian Implementation Committee in Papua New Guinea, has confirmed there have been deaths in the Care Centres for people evacuated after October's volcanic eruption.

Local media have reported that more than 100 people have died in the centres since October.

One care centre staff member has said many of the deaths are from infections caused by the eruption.

However Sir Arnold Amet says the number of casualties and causes is still not clear.

"I don't have to hand through the health departments of the province and the national health department, the precise figures of exactly how many fatalities there have been and for what reasons. There have been deaths. The precise diagnosis and causes of those, we don't have data available at the present time."

Sir Arnold also says the supply of food to the centres has been delayed by six weeks because of a lack of co-ordination between provincial and national authorities.