Thursday, 10 September 2009 6:01 AM

Public Health Emergency Declared in PNG Province

A public health emergency has been declared in Papua New Guinea's Morobe province following outbreaks of cholera and dysentery.

According to Australia Network News, PNG authorities are battling the first outbreak of cholera of which 18 people have died and 240 others have contracted the disease since July in Morobe province on the country's north coast.

According to the report, 'in the same province, authorities are also battling an outbreak of dysentery that has killed 29 and infected 400' with the country's Health minister, Sasa Zibe, stating that 'the emergency declaration will give health authorities greater powers to contain the outbreaks'.

They will be able to shut down facilities, like restaurants, if they don't comply with sanitation standards.

They will also be able to prevent people from moving to and from infected areas.

Australia is providing assistance in the form of water purification tablets and water containers.