18 Nov 2010

100 feared dead in PNG cholera outbreak

2:36 pm on 18 November 2010

A priest in Papua New Guinea says about 100 people have died from a cholera outbreak which has spread from the island of Daru to other islands and the mainland.

Father Vinod D'Mello from Daru's Catholic Mission says the recorded number of cholera deaths at Daru Hospital is 35 to 40.

But he says after contacting neighbouring islands he believes the death toll is about 100.

Father Vinod says more than 300 cases of cholera have now been reported in the hospital.

But he says while the danger has not passed, the outbreak is under control and medical staff and aid are now reaching the remote islands.

"They are going to give out the awareness programmes and the medical aid for these people, like the glucose bottles then the various other medicines, and they formed themselves into teams and they moved out."

Father Vinod says government officials and NGOs are doing the best they can to address the outbreak.

The Health Ministry could not be reached for official figures.