Health crisis in Asmat, Legislator questioning Otsus funds

Illustration of Asmat children – Maria Sucianingsih/

Jayapura, Jubi – Natan Pahabol, Deputy Chairman of Commission I, Papua House of Representatives, on Education and Health put questioned on 15 percent from 80 percent of the Papua Otsus (Special Autonomy) fund granted by Papua Provincial Government to districts/regency government.

This was said by the Gerindra Party politician in response to the epidemic of measles and malnutrition in Asmat regency causing at least 24 children died, in the last four months.

“If this condition keep happening in regencies or districts, we need to question the 80 percent Otsus fund given by the Papua Provincial Government (to the regions),” said Natan on Sunday (January 14).

According to him, the flow of Otsus funds for health to the districts and municipalities in Papua should be questioned, especially if the condition of public health has been slumped.

Quoted from, the number of children died in Asmat due to measles and malnutrition is likely to increase because the district government still collecting the data.

Head of Public Health Service of Asmat District Health Office, Steven Langi, said dozens of children now treated at Agats Hospital suffered from measles and malnutrition and other diseases, such as tuberculosis, pneumonia and malaria.

“There are three children affected by measles and malnutrition return home from the hospital,” said Steven Langi.

According to him, five districts in the interior of Asmat are stroke by measles and malnutrition, which are Swator, Fayit, Pulau Tiga, Jetsy, and Siret.

Asmat regency has sent four teams to five districts since Tuesday (January 9) to provide medication and food, and collected data of victims. (