Death toll from cholera outbreak in Papau New Guinea reaches almost 500

In Papua New Guinea, the death toll from a recent cholera outbreak has reached nearly 500 people.

Health Secretary Dr. Clement Malau told PNG’s national newspaper that there have been 483 people confirmed to have died from the disease and more than 10,000 who have been diagnosed. The records begin in last September, when the disease was first diagnosed in the population, according to

Of PNG’s 19 provinces, seven have been hit by the disease. The capital, Port Morseby, has also seen the effects. Malau told that the Western Province has been hit the hardest and has seen 300 of the 483 deaths attributed to cholera.

Malau has made an appeal to authorities at the district and provincial levels to respond quickly and effectively to the outbreaks in their regions in an effort to stem the disease.

The PNG government has been blamed for the ongoing nature of the outbreak. They were accuses of poor planning in the initial stages, followed by a lack of releasing the proper funding.

In relief efforts to contain the outbreak, the World Health Organization and the Australian aid agency AusAID have flown medical supplies and offered expertise in logistics to the beleaguered nation.

Australia has provided $1.7 million in aid, including supplies of intravenous fluids, oral salts and water purification tablets. They have also sent experts in emergency care, reports.