Jayapura, Jubi – Lanny Jaya Regency is still lacking of general medical practitioners and specialists, especially dentists. This was said by Head of Lanny Jaya District Health Office Mecky Yigibalom to reporters in Jayapura on Wednesday (May 31).
“In Lanny Jaya, in particular, we are still lacking lot of dentists, there is only one doctor and only duty in the district capital, whereas ideally every Puskesmas should have one dentist,” he said.
In addition, he said, there is no general medical practitioner in some health centers located in the area he governs, there are only health workers such as nurses and midwives, and even then are very limited.
“There is only one Puskesmas which has two to five health workers,” he said.
For that Yigibalom hopes Provincial Health Office of Papua can see the problems experienced in his region. Related to the shortage of specialist and general doctors and also the lack of human resources, he has reported it to the Team Unit of Papua Health Development Acceleration (UP2KP).
Earlier, Papua Head Office of Provincial Health, Alysius Giyai said that now the Provincial Health Office of Papua encourages the formation of mobile medical teams in each district and city in the province.
International Coalition for West Papua, based on information from multiple local media outlets, has reported the deaths of 37 villagers between 1st January and 25th April 2017 in the Awena District of Lanny Jaya Regency, Papua Province.
The alleged reason for the deaths was an epidemic diarrhea outbreak in the villages Tinggira, Nambume, Eyumi, Uragabur, Yugimia and Indawa. At least four villagers had to be hospitalized in Tiom General Hospital, where they received medical treatment.
According to the secretary of Lanny Jaya health department Mrs Dolly Kogoya, the diarrhea epidemic occurred because the villagers had consumed water from a water reservoir which was contaminated with human and domestic animal excrements. The water had not been cooked prior to consumption.
The Lanny Jaya health department has responded by distributing pans to boil water and deploying two doctors and five nurses to the affected areas where they should provide medical treatment in the affected villages. However, responsible government institutions had not taken notice of the epidemic outbreak until April 2017.
During previous years similar incidents have repeatedly happened in other remote highland regencies of Papua Province. Insufficient equipment in rural health care institutions and a lack of adequate health monitoring and response mechanisms remained strikingly evident.
These shortcomings were highlighted when a pertussis epidemic broke out in the remote highland regency of Nduga, killing at least 51 children and three adults within a span of three months in late 2015. Malnutrition enabled the rapid spread of the epidemic.(*)