By MALUM NALU
Western Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry today slammed Daru hospital chief executive officer Dr Amos Lano for not implementing the provincial cholera plan since June this year.
Acting president Warren Dutton said the plan – which he showed documentary proof of - had been agreed to at the June meeting involving representatives from health agencies of the Catholic and Evangelical churches, Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML), police, Defense Force, local Level governments, provincial administration and the chamber of Commerce, but yet, Dr Lano had been sitting on it since then.
“The ‘Western Province Cholera Plan’, if it was ever completed, has not been implemented despite the fact that Dr Amos Lano is reported on the front page of today's The National newspaper, as saying ‘the outbreak was first reported on the island on Oct 5’,” Dutton said.
“Surely he should have at least immediately have advised his Governor (Bob Danaya), who is himself a medical practitioner of many years experience, of the fact that there was a cholera outbreak in the capital of the Western province.
“Surely the national Department of Health should have long since have been asked to come to the assistance of the threatened people of the Western province.”
Dutton said shortly before noon on Monday, the business community and the missions of Kiunga were advised by the CEO of Kiunga hospital, Sr Rosemary Joseph, that 10 people had died in Daru from a suspected outbreak of cholera.
“At 5pm, representatives of the Montfort Catholic Mission, OTML, Horizon Oil Limited, Western Province Constructions Limited and others met to be briefed by Sr Joseph on the precautions required to protect the citizens of Kiunga town, and all the villages in close proximity, from contracting the disease,” Dutton said.
“As a result of this advice, one of the guest houses now requires all its staff and all guests and visitors to disinfect their shoes and their hands before they enter.
“Up until now there has been no notification, from any other of the health or other authorities responsible for the health and safety of the people of the Western province, advising of the imminent danger of cholera being introduced in to Kiunga and Tabubil on the direct aircraft flights from Daru.
“It is understood that OTML health services in Tabubil yesterday Monday) afternoon held a meeting about cholera.
“It is known that OTML health services have long since developed a cholera contingency plan.”