- The World Health Organisation’s Ebola expert, Dr Boris Pavlin said health quarantine officers from Papua New Guinea’s Department of Health are meeting every international flight to check declaration forms to identify passengers who have travelled from West Africa.
- Health advocates have warned e-cigarettes are being taken up by young people rather than helping long-term smokers to quit.
- Rescuers in New Zealand have officially called off their search for an Australian and two other climbers who are presumed dead after going missing on Mount Cook.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 6th January 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News
Health authorities in Papua New Guinea have established a screening system for Ebola at the Port Moresby airport.
The World Health Organisation’s Ebola expert, Dr Boris Pavlin said health quarantine officers from Papua New Guinea’s Department of Health are meeting every international flight to check declaration forms to identify passengers who have travelled from West Africa.
He told Pacific Beat nurses were also posted at the airport to assess people for any possible cases of Ebola.
“Their role is to actually do medical assessments should such a person arise,” he said.
“Indeed if the person has been to West Africa and only then they would be additionally screened with a temperature check and a proper medical evaluation.”
Dr Pavlin said the airport had the capacity to temporarily accommodate passengers if they were identified as needing to be isolated by health officials for further tests.
The Ebola virus has killed nearly 8,000 people mostly in the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea and is extremely infectious.
Health officials said the chance of it arriving in Papua New Guinea was very remote.
Health advocates have warned e-cigarettes are being taken up by young people rather than helping long-term smokers to quit.
New restrictions adopted in Queensland have made it illegal to sell e-cigarettes to people under the age of 18.
Cancer Council policy and advocacy director Paul Grogan said Queensland is leading the way in recognising the potential harm of e-cigarettes.
Mr Grogan said precautions to protect the community’s health had to be a priority.
“There’s a lot of confusion out there around electronic cigarettes,” he said.
“When you say that they are healthier than tobacco cigarettes it’s more a case that they’re probably less harmful, but we really don’t know to what extent they could be harmful.”
An electronic cigarette or e-cigarette is a device that heats liquid to produce a vapour that is drawn into the lungs.
“The e-cigarettes that are for sale claim to have no nicotine in them but when they are analysed independently, quite often it turns out that they do [contain nicotine],” Mr Grogan said.
The Cancer Council is concerned that a large amount of misinformation is being generated about electronic cigarettes.
Without long term evidence on the effect of e-cigarettes on health, the Cancer Council is urging people to be cautious.
Mr Grogan said it was difficult to believe that e-cigarettes could be helping people to decrease their nicotine use.
Rescuers in New Zealand have officially called off their search for an Australian and two other climbers who are presumed dead after going missing on Mount Cook.
Sydney doctor Michael Bishop, 53, was last seen with German climbers Johan and Raphael Viellehner on Linda Glacier last Monday.
The three-man party had been climbing to the summit of Mt Cook, which is New Zealand’s highest mountain, when the weather began to deteriorate.
The men were roped together when they set off for the summit but failed to return to their hut that day.
New Zealand police said on Thursday it was presumed the climbers died on the mountain, and it was suspected they may have fallen into a crevasse.
Strong winds and poor conditions had hampered the search and rescue efforts.
Police said the families of the men were upset the search had stopped, but said they would re-evaluate their plans if they received any new information or sightings.
Dr Bishop’s son Joshua said the men did not have enough gear to survive multiple nights on the mountain.
“It’s a big likelihood that they’ve come across tragedy … it’s been a fall or an avalanche or they’ve been buried somewhere. That seems like the most likely situation now,” he said.
Christian charity organisation Ascent to Life called for support and prayers for Dr Bishop on Facebook, saying he was a pastor and founder of the ministry.
“Thank you for your continuous prayers for our brother Dr Bishop and his two climber friends at Mt Cook,” one of the posts said.
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