6 Aug 2010

Cholera outbreak in Papua New Guinea remains an emergency

1:52 pm on 6 August 2010

The cholera outbreak in Papua New Guinea remains a problem, a year after it began.

The head of the Cholera Taskforce in the National Capital District, Dr Tim Pyakalyia, says people continue to be admitted to hospital with suspected cases of cholera, with eight more in Port Moresby this week.

He says about 12-hundred people in the capital are still affected by the disease and an upgrade of the water system is still essential.

"Biggest problem in the city is a lack of proper water and sanitation. And public facilities like public toilets in the markets where we don't have proper running water and the functioning toilets. So this is the major challenge that the city is facing."

Dr Tim Pyakalia says at the same time the health sector is focusing on training staff to better deal with the cholera issue.

The disease first surfaced in August last year in Morobe Province and has since spread to Lae, Madang, East Sepik and the capital, Port Moresby.