27 Jun 2006

PNG Health Minister confident that whooping cough outbreak can be contained

7:31 pm on 27 June 2006

The death toll from the outbreak of whooping cough in Papua New Guinea is now into the dozens and further deaths could be reported as emergency health teams reach outlying areas.

The disease broke out in East Sepik last month and has spread across the border into neighbouring Madang.

Papau New Guinea's Health Minister, Sir Peter Barter has said they could consider declaring disaster areas to give local authorities access to more funds if the outbreak of whooping cough gets any worse..

Sir Peter is reported to have congratulated East Sepik on its efforts to contain the outbreak, and journalist Alex Rheeney says the minister is confident they can contain its spread:

"In the lastest statement that he has sent out they are saying they be will be able to control stop it spreading to other parts including Morobe province and the Highlands provinces which are neighbours to Madang province."


But the govenor of neighbouring Morobe province has suggested restricting travel from Madang, if the outbreak spreads from more isolated areas.