First death confirmed in PNG polio outbreak
Medical authorities have confirmed that a child has died in Papua New Guinea (PNG) after contracting polio virus, Xinhua reported.
Speaking at the launch of a nationwide vaccination campaign on Monday, World Health Organisation (WTO) country representative Luo Dapeng, told local media that with no cure, it's imperative that every child under 15 should be vaccinated.
"PNG had confirmed a total of 14 cases of polio, five in Eastern Highlands Province, three in Morobe, two in Enga, two in Madang, one in the nation's capital and one in Jiwaka, however, we have received reports that one of the children in Enga died," he said.
With the first recorded case occurring in the city of Lae during April this year, authorities have been trying desperately to constrain the outbreak.
According to Luo, the Health Department of PNG and a number of other partners including the WTO, will begin mobilizing more than 9,000 polio workers across 22 provinces to take part in the nationwide vaccination program.
"Some of these workers would go to the villages, communities, markets, bus stops, schools and places of worship to vaccine children to protect them from lifelong paralysis," he said.