Over the past two weeks, health workers at the Situm Health Center in the Morobe province have been attending to a large number of influenza cases.
A health worker at the health center, who wishes to remain anonymous, stated that some of these cases were laced with diseases such as malaria, pneumonia and other common diseases.
“There is a flu virus going around, if someone in the family gets it, everybody will get it.”
“Some come with malaria, so we run tests and treat accordingly. If tests show its malaria, we treat them for malaria.”
The health worker also said that home remedies like steaming with lemon grass, lemon, ginger and other herbs and drinking a lot of warm water with lemon will help to kill the virus in patients.
“Eat lots of fruits like pawpaw, pineapples, and oranges as well as greens cooked with lots of ginger, garlic and onions to help fight off the flu.”
Additionally, keeping away from the rest of the people can also help to reduce the spread of the virus because influenza is often spread through sprayed droplets when one sneezes or coughs.
“If you don’t help yourself you’ll have a hard time, so make sure to cut down on sugary, salty, oily and greasy food.”
Patients who contracted the virus one to two weeks ago have already recovered whereas patients who have just caught it are doing their best in fighting it off.
“Almost everyone in the village already has the flu. Those who were diagnosed earliest with the flu are fully recovered. It will mostly last from three to four days, if you drink water and nourish your body to fight it off.”
Meanwhile, due to the lack of certain medicine supplies and IV Fluids at the health center, all major cases like pregnant mothers giving birth, are referred to the Angau Memorial Hospital in the city of Lae.
“We don’t have IV fluids to treat our pregnant mothers, the supplies that we had, we have already used it up. We are waiting for new supplies.”
Apart from that the health center has running water and the health staff use solar lights to treat patients at nights.