10 Dec 2009

Oxfam calls for more help to fight the spread of cholera in isolated Papua New Guinea province

6:59 pm on 10 December 2009

An international aid organisation says more resources are needed to try and limit the spread of cholera in Papua New Guinea's East Sepik.

Several hundred people in the province are known to have contracted the disease, which has killed at least eight.

Andrew Rankin, the Sepik Programme Manager for Oxfam International, says the number of cases is increasing every day and the water in the main river, the Sepik, is infected with cholera.

He says a good effort has been made to respond to the outbreak but the difficulties are heightened by the isolation and having to access most communities by boat.

"Due to how difficult it is too access these communities that more resources are required, more support would definitely be needed, if we are going to really access all of these isolated communities, because without that support, it's almost impossible."

Andrew Rankin says this community contact is vital to allow instruction in safe hygiene practices.