EU TO PUT $1 MILLION INTO PNG CHOLERA FIGHT

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Morobe, Eastern Highlands focal points

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, October 16, 2009) – The European Commission (EC) has accepted a K2.6 million [US$1 million] humanitarian aid decision for the victims of the outbreak of various diseases like cholera, dysentery and influenza A in Papua New Guinea.

The European Union office advised that the funds would provide help those who are suffering most and will aim at stopping the spread of the diseases.

The EU stated that the funds are managed by the Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) under the responsibility of Commissioner Karel de Gucht.

The funds are likely to be channelled through ‘Doctors without Borders’, WHO and UNICEF.

The EU said its humanitarian support will concentrate on Morobe, particularly the Menyamya district and Eastern Highlands Province and the areas where the diseases had occurred.

The EU stated that people in other parts of the country could also be supported, if necessary, but due to the weakness of local structures and remoteness of beneficiaries, assistance was necessary to contain the spreading of the diseases.

"This is by improving where necessary, setting-up efficient surveillance systems, by providing means for the appropriate case management, protection of health personnel and as well as undertaking a public awareness campaign," the EU office stated.

It said this included setting up cholera units in existing hospitals, providing sufficient human resources and technical assistance, medicines, logistics, immediate improvement of water and sanitation conditions.

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