16 Feb 2011

PNG cholera death toll nears 500

2:31 pm on 16 February 2011

Papua New Guinea's top health official says nearly 500 people have died from the country's prolonged cholera outbreak.

The Health Secretary, Dr Clement Malau, has told the newspaper, The National, that 483 people have died while more than 10,000 have been diagnosed with cholera since the first outbreak in August of 2009 in Morobe Province.

Seven regions, including the capital Port Moresby, have been affected by cholera with Dr Malau saying Western Province was the worst hit with 300 deaths.

He says he's urging the provinces to sustain the response momentum and widen surveillance and awareness activities.