Archive for September 4, 2009

Over 400 Dead from Flu in Papua New Guinea

Posted at 21:39 on 04 September, 2009 UTC

The Papua New Guinea government is being urged to declare a state of emergency immediately as the death toll from epidemics in a remote province soars to more than four-hundred people.

The Governor of Morobe Province, Luther Wenge, says eye witness reports say almost 300 people have now died from an outbreak of flu and dysentery in the inaccesible district of Menyamya, while another 114 people have died from cholera in the coastal villages of Tewai-Siassi.

The Health Minister Sasa Zibe says he wants a state of emergency to be declared but does not yet have enough information from officials to seek such a declaration.

But Luther Wenge says the information he is receiving from people on the ground leaves him in no doubt a state of emergency must be declared immediately so resources can be freed up to treat people.

“Act now, act now. You can from those information you can make a decision and then provide money so that doctors and nurses and all the appropriate people must get in now because as a matter of fact people are dying, there’s no question about it, people are dying in fifties and hundreds.”
Luther Wenge says the provincial government has no money to cope with the epidemics as its already spent it on other disasters in the province.

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Damn. Schools have been open two weeks here; a kid was sent into the school I work at today with a horrible cough and feeling miserable. Parents could not be contacted to send him home. He remained in relative isolation; however, he came in contact with a lot of other students before then. I suspect similar situations are happening in schools across the nation.

Yeah, yeah, I know, the flu is mild here, nothing to worry about.

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