Jayapura, Jubi – Cases of HIV/AIDS transmission cases from mother to child are the second largest after heterosexual transmission in Papua, the Papua Health Office said in its quarterly report per 31 March 2016.
Cases of heterosexual transmission reached 24,543 while the transmission from mother to child reached 460 cases (141 HIV and 319 AIDS). The third higher case is the unidentified transmission, namely 124 cases (60 HIV and 64 AIDS).
The Head of Papua Health Office, drg. Aloysias Giay said the Ministry of Health urged the provincial office to restrain the number. “We have been asked to restrain the number that nationally reach 25,215 of the existing cases, but it grows faster,” he said by phone on Monday (27/6/2016).
He worried about the increment of identified cases, but from the point of health service, they have made an achievement because the more cases are identified, it helped to identify its cares and preventions.
“We could be considered being success in identifying the number of cases, therefore we can provide assistance to the patients and provide the understanding to those who have nor yet transmitted,” he said.
He said the provincial office keep continuing to reduce the number of HIV/AIDS patients. One of the actions taken is by establishing the health task unit for the villages. “We have sent the team to the villages. They are now in the villages to provide assistance for the local community,” he said.
Papua human right activist Paneas Lokbere said the number of patients is increasingly raised but the government’s act in preventing the transmission of this disease has not given impact every year. “Sometimes ago the government was busy with the media campaign but now it’s rarely broadcasted, also the billboards on the street,” he said. (Benny Mawel).
Slow response to measles outbreak in Papua
Jakarta, Jubi – Indonesia’s Government has come under fire for its slow response to a severe measles outbreak in the province of Papua that has claimed the lives of dozens of children.
The alarming number of deaths in Asmat has also led to outrage in local Indonesian media, as ABC news reported.
But Jakarta defended its response and said the remote area was difficult to access quickly.
“Yes we have very limited means and staff but this doesn’t mean we aren’t trying very hard,” Agats health department spokesman Steven Langi told Al Jazeera.
“What we need is not just to be criticised, but real help. Those who criticise us I want to invite to work here.”
Indonesia’s Government announced it was setting up a taskforce in Papua to help contain the outbreak and the Indonesian military said it was also sending more medicine and doctors to the province.
Scramble to attend Papua measles outbreak
Indonesian health teams are scrambling to attend to the deadly measles outbreak in Asmat district of Papua province, as reported by RNZI (29/1).
Since reports of the extent of outbreak filtered out of Papua earlier this month, Indonesia’s government has moved quickly to attend to the situation, but is copping criticism for neglecting the health of Papuans over many years.
Papua’s police commander, Boy Rafli Amar last week said the number affected by malnutrition had surpassed 10,000, which was exacerbating the measles problem.
An integrated health team to respond to the crisis has been dispatched from the Papua Province Health Office, Indonesian National Army, and the Ministry of Health.
The epidemic is being attributed by health officials to food shortage, a poor sanitary environment, and a lack of medical personnel and facilities in Asmat.
Despite Papua region’s abundant resources, which provide significant revenue for the Indonesian state, Papua continues to lag in human development outcomes.
Across the whole Indonesian republic, the highest poverty rates, in relative terms, are all in its far east provinces of Papua, West Papua and Maluku, according to Jakarta’s Statistics Agency.
The health situation is of particular concern. Papua has the lowest life expectancy in Indonesia and the highest infant, child and maternal mortality rates. Diseases such as malaria, leprosy and malnutrition have strong footholds in in Papua, as does HIV/AIDS.
Although since coming to power in late 2014, President Joko Widodo promised to bring greater economic and social development to Papua, as well as improved health care, the welfare of Papuans appears to have deteriorated.
In the past couple of years, several reported outbreaks of endemic diseases in various parts of Papua have killed hundreds of people.
The government still significantly restricts access to Papua for international humanitarian and health NGOs who could help bolster public health services.
The United Nations special rapporteur on the right to health, Dainius Pūras, reported after visiting last year that he was “concerned about the health status of ethnic Papuans” and called for greater health investment.(abc.net.au/RNZI/Zely)
Papua’s deadly measles outbreak shows years of neglect
Asmat, Jubi – Indonesia’s battle to stem a deadly measles outbreak striking malnourished children in Papua is doomed to be repeated unless the government helps lift the isolated region out of grinding poverty, observers said.
AFP reporters obtained rare access to an overwhelmed hospital in Agats, one of the worst-affected communities, witnessed rail-thin children with exposed rib cages lying on rickety beds or wandering foul-smelling hallways.
One malnourished girl, hooked up to an IV drip, was seen lying on the floor of an under-equipped hospital.
The disease has proven especially deadly here as malnutrition makes children more susceptible, weakening their immune systems.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has ordered military and medical teams to bring supplies to remote villages in the far-flung province.
Observers blame the crisis on a complex mix of government inaction, lack of jobs, logistical hurdles in reaching remote communities and resettlement efforts that pose a serious threat to traditional hunting-based lifestyles.
Many Papuans live a semi-nomadic life in hard-to-reach areas of the jungle with almost no proper medical care, schools or other services, including access to clean water.
In the village of Ayam, a ten-hour boat ride from the nearest major city, a tiny clinic lacked almost everything – including doctors – as its few nurses struggled to treat more than two dozen measles cases.
Some locals worry what will happen when the medics leave.
“What we really need is medicine and food so our children here can be healthy again,” said 28-year-old father Yunus Komenemar, whose one-year-old son has measles.
“The government is paying more attention, aid is coming in and there are (positive) changes, but we want it to last.”(AFP)
Dealing with malnutrition and measles in Asmat
Source: Koran Jubi
Jayapura, Jubi – When the attention of the central government was absorbed into the case of malnutrition and measles outbreaks in Asmat Regency, a similar incident that resulted 23 toddlers’ dead has been arisen from Pegunungan Bintang.
Integrated Humanity Task Force team has evacuated 14 children with malnutrition and measles from Atsi District to RSUD Agats in Asmat Regency, Papua, on Friday, January 19th.
Head of the Papua Police Public Relations A.M Kamal said eleven of fourteen children are diagnosed with broken legs and hands, while two were infected with measles.
“The eleven patients were referred to the Agats Public Hospital using Polair Mimika Police vessel,” he said.
Before evacuating, a team of four personnel and one motorist delivered medical supplies and foodstuffs from Bhayangkari Region of Papua, Bank Papua, Bank BRI, and other agencies. The stuffs were include biscuits, milk for toddlers, mineral water, rice, and cooking oil.
Papua Police Head (Kapolda) Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar also briefly visited the Atsi sub district to observe the on the spot conditions, including to see the children who exposed to measles and Malaria and their mothers that were being treated in the Atsi Sub-district Health Center.
Kapolda said, the malnourished patients who had been evacuated by the task force team will get a better treatment.
As quoted by Antara, Kombes Pol A.M. Kamal explained that the Integrated Task Force of Polda Papua held a treatment for 472 Asmat people with measles and malnutrition who live in eight villages in Asmat District.
The treatments were conducted on Saturday, January 20th in two sub-districts, namely Aip Sub-district which consisted of Kampung Kawet, Mausi, Comoro, Satoyot, Tomor Airo-Airo and Awiyu Sub-district consisting of Sagare, Yepu and Wagi Villages.
“Of the 472 patients who received the treatment, ten were referred to Puskemas (health centre) Atsi with a diagnosis of measles, dehydration and malnutrition; and immunized citizens of 112 people. In early January there were five children who died there due to measles,” he said.
Outbreaks of measles and malnutrition that have occurred in Asmat Regency since September 2017 have caused 68 children and under-fives to die. This report caused Jakarta to be shocked then mobilize the team to overcome the situation.
Regent of Asmat Elisa Kambu acknowledged, since September 2017 Health Office of Asmat Regency records the presence of measles disease. But just 23 December they had received a report from the Bishop of Agats, Aloysius Murwito of the children who died in Kampung As, Pulau Tiga District.
“I myself also found a toddler who died and dozens of children suffering from measles and malnutrition in Kampung As and Atat, then I immediately had ordered the head of health office to overcome it,” said Kambu during a coordination meeting with the Presidential Staff Team (KSP), Health Ministry team, Ministry of Social Affairs, Papua Province, TNI and Papua Police on Wednesday, January 16th, as quoted by Antara.
According to the Regent his team had started work on January 1st to January 11th and has treated hundreds of patients with measles. A total of 393 of them were outpatients and 175 had to undergo hospitalization.
“There are obstacles that occur when dealing with this outbreak, there are only 12 doctors and one special doctor in Asmat,” he said.
From 16 health centres (Puskesmas) which are scattered, only seven have doctors. Lack of health equipment and distances far apart had contributed to the shocking number of victims.
Father Hendrik Huda, who accompanied the Presidential Staff Office (KSP) team, said that the district of Asmat is almost 90 percent water-covered and all its citizens spread across 23 districts (sub-districts) living on the banks of the river.
“Most of them live and eat directly from what nature had provide, looking for fish and sago, they often leave their houses by the paddle boats with their families down the river and make small huts to live for food, this livelihood that makes them need to go far to get good nutrition,” he said.
Meanwhile, Yan Akobiarek from the Remote Humanitarian Community Care (Kopkedat) of Papua asked the government not only to see the big problems that occurred in Papua such as the outbreak, but also the small problems.
“The smallest thing must be considered before it becomes a big problem,” he told Jubi in Jayapura, Wednesday (December 17).
According to Yan, what happens today is not only KLB in Asmat, but also in some areas in Papua such as Korowai which is also in the administrative area of Asmat Regency.
“I take the example as in Baigon, Mabul, Amakot, Ayak and surrounding areas, many people are experiencing the same thing, but the case does not explode so that the various diseases were not known to many people,” he said.
When attention was drawn to health issues in Asmat District, it was reported that in Okbab District, Pegunungan Bintang District, malnutrition cases also occurred causing 23 infants to die in Kampung Pedam.
Reports received by the Papua Health Office are the under-five mortality occurring from December 6, 2017 to January 11, 2018. (*)
Editor: Zely Ariane
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