15 Aug 2005

Volcanic ash affects hospital in PNG's East New Britain province

1:50 pm on 15 August 2005

The Nonga Base General Hospital in East New Britain in Papua New Guinea has temporarily closed its outpatient section because of heavy ashfall from the Tavurvur volcano.

The Director of Medical Services, Dr Samson Arua, said the ash had affected hospital operations.

Asthma patients have complained that the dust is not helping in their treatment.

A patient, Steven Sadi, said dust was getting into the hospital wards, making patients' lives miserable and uncomfortable.

Dr Arua also urged people to seek treatment at health centres instead of travelling to Nonga.

He said outpatient services would resume once the ashfall stopped.