WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, July 11) - The Catholic Church in Papua New Guinea said more than 100 people in a remote area of the Gulf province have died as a result of a massive outbreak of measles and influenza.

The administrator of Kerema Catholic diocese, Brother Sabian Misili, has told the National newspaper that the diseases have claimed the lives of 60 adults and 51 children in the Kotidanga sub-district since April.

Brother Sabian said more than 800 people are also affected in surrounding areas.

He said Health Department officers are not on site assisting the Catholic workers.

Kerema MP Ekis Ropenu is traveling to the area at the weekend to assess the situation.

Ropenu’s office said the health minister has also been notified to assist with transporting medical supplies.

July 14, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: 


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