Health Board warns of disease risk

By: The National

NATIONAL Health Board deputy chairman Dr Mathias Sapuri has urged candidates and voters to be aware of health risks such as food poisoning and sexually transmitted diseases during the election period.

“History has shown and most likely to repeat itself when it comes to health-related issues affecting the general public and candidates,” Sapuri said in a statement.

“The magnitude of risk this time could be much higher. Some 4000 candidates and four million voters and our eight million population will be directly affected during the next eight weeks,” he said.

According to Sapuri, the health risks include:

*Consumption of alcohol that can ignite or fuel violence among candidates and supporters;

*casual sexual activities leading to sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/AIDS infection;

*crowded venues, houses, homes, rooms, sleeping quarters – breeding grounds for spread of tuberculosis; and,

*Contamination of water leading to diarrhoeal diseases, especially typhoid and food poisoning.

Dr Sapuri

Dr Mathias Sapuri

Sapuri urged the public to avoid eating poorly prepared or stored food and to use condom at all times to avoid sexual diseases.

He warned that large gatherings and social events were recipe for increase promiscuity and casual sexual activities.

He said candidates and supporters could spark community violence, especially tribal fights and in view of significant illegal guns and firearms in the Papua New Guinea, it posed significant threat to peace and good order in the country.

“This could escalate to serious injuries and deaths,” Sapuri said.

“We as a nation have progressed significantly and it is about time we must behave accordingly as good, law-abiding citizens and do the right thing to avoid health risks.”

“I call upon all health workers in Papua New Guinea to be on standby and attend to any unfortunate health outcome that needed attention.”

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