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Date Posted: 13:08:18 04/15/03 Tue
The school is now offically closed a week before it's normal break time. Learning is affected.
School closed over typhoid outbreak
MINJ High School in the Western Highlands province has been forced to shut a week before the first term break because of a typhoid outbreak.
So far the number of students infected has risen from nine to 42 since it was first reported last Monday.
Provincial Superintendent for High Schools, Alphone Duboi, visited the school last Thursday and closed the school. The school has 800 students.
According to a teacher at the school, 48 students were sent away for blood check of which 33 were confirmed as infected while 15 students were tested negative.
He said 16 students who were seriously ill with typhoid were admitted at the Minj Evangelical Brotherhood Health Centre.
He said last Friday the school's Board of Management had a meeting and resolved to upgrade the poor sanitation facilities at the school, which were condemned by health authorities.
He added that starting this week, the ancillary staff at the school would work around the clock to fix the water pipes, build new toilets, ablution blocks and other facilities before the students return from their three weeks school holidays.
The school was closed after a stern warning issued by Jiwaka health inspector Roy Milling early this month.
Mr Milling said it was necessary to close the school early to prevent the outbreak from developing into an epidemic.
He said he was confident that those receiving treatment would be well when the second term resumes.
He blamed the poor toilets and poor water supply for the typhoid outbreak.