10 May 2010

PNG Health Minister believes cholera in Port Moresby contained

1:51 pm on 10 May 2010

Papua New Guinea's Minister of Health is confident a cholera outbreak in Port Moresby has been contained.

Authorities last week declared a public health emergency in response to the cholera outbreak in the capital, where five people have now died.

Sasa Zibe says that allowed officials to establish a control and treatment centre, as has been done in other parts of the country.

"I think we have developed experience in those areas, so i can proudly say here that things are under control. I think our job, particularly for the health [ministry], our job is to contain the spread of cholera but that does not mean that we [don't] have other serious issues and challenges, which are beyond my powers. Cholera is a waterborne disease so my department is not responsible for providing clean running water."

Sasa Zibe says the city needs to take responsibility for making sure there is clean water, especially to the settlements on its outskirts.

PNG health authorities, NGOs and agencies such as the World Health Organisation, have been battling cholera in the northern provinces of Madang, Morobe and East Sepik since August last year.