10 May 2010

WHO says unclear if cholera in PNG capital under control

4:14 pm on 10 May 2010

The World Health Organisation in Papua New Guinea says it will still be some time before officials can say a cholera outbreak in the capital has been contained.

Papua New Guinea's Minister of Health says he is confident the outbreak in Port Moresby has been contained, after authorities declared a public health emergency last week following five deaths there.

The country has been battling cholera in the northern provinces of Madang, Morobe and East Sepik since August last year.

The WHO's representative in PNG, Dr Eigel Sorensen says there is still ongoing transmission in two or three communities in the capital, mostly in coastal villages.

"The country has actually learned a lot from almost a year now with cholera. And I think the experiences of other provinces are useful in trying to contain this as now, in the last 2 or 3 weeks have teached the capital. The main problem is that cholera is primarily thriving because of the poor water sanitation issues."

Dr Eigel Sorensen, the WHO's representative to PNG.