8 Oct 2010

Fears in PNG that cholera will spread

10:25 am on 8 October 2010

The Cholera Taskforce in Papua New Guinea's National Capital District fears the number of people infected will continue to rise as the year draws to an end.

A Medical Response Coordinator for the Taskforce, Dr Niko Wuatai says the number of patients admitted each month is steadily increasing with 115 admissions in July, 168 in August and 205 last month.

Dr Wuatai says there have been at least two recent outbreaks of cholera, in Lealea village in Central Province and Hanuabada village in the NCD.

He says cholera remains a problem as the festive season is imminent.

"Cholera is occuring during times when people celebrate - for example September, because of the independence celebrations. We just had a spike of admissions. So it's probably going to increase towards the end of the year."

Dr Niko Wuatai says poor food safety and personal hygiene are still key issues that are contributing to the spread of cholera.