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Main » 2013 » April » 7 » NGO presses govt to investigate death of 95 Papuans
5:41 AM
NGO presses govt to investigate death of 95 Papuans

Jakarta Ones,-- A non-governmental organization (NGO), National Papua Solidarity (NAPAS), urged the government to investigate the cause of death of 95 people in Tambrauw regency, West Papua, saying that the Health Ministry neglected Papuans in remote areas.

Previously, the Sorong Raya chapter of Nusantara Traditional Community Alliance (AMAN) reported that as many as 95 people in Tambrauw died after failing to receive medical care.

In Baddei village 45 out of a total 250 sick residents have died, in Jokjober village 15 of its 210 sick people are now dead and in Kosefa village 35 of the 75 sick villagers did not recover.

"The lack of healthcare in the three villages has meant sick residents eventually die,” Sorong Raya chapter AMAN head Konstan Magablo cited, adding that the residents suffered from symptoms such as headache, high fever and skin irritation.

He said that since 2010, due to a lack of personnel, the three villages’ puskesmas (community health centers) had ceased providing healthcare to residents.

NAPAS activist Zely Ariane said that a team from NAPAS had confirmed the regency’s death toll.

The West Papua Health Agency responded to the contrary, according to Health Ministry spokesperson, Murti Utami, between October 2012 and March this year only 15 people had died in Tambrauw.

Minarto, the Health Ministry’s nutrition management director, said the causes of death were skin diseases and anemia.

West Papua Health Office head Otto Parorrongan also denied the number of deaths, saying that he received reports of five individuals — two women and three children — succumbing to various illnesses.

Zely from NAPAS accused the government of neglecting Papuans.

"The total of population in Tambrauw is only around 2,200 people, so even if the number of people who died is 15 that is still a big number and the ministry should investigate the cause,” Zely said on Thursday.

"The ministry should distribute health workers to this area because apparently no health workers are available,” she added referring to the lack of doctors and nurses at puskesmas.

"It is [no excuse to say the] areas are too difficult to reach, because they [the ministry] really should have the equipment to reach the area and help the people,” Zely continued.

Otto, however, denied the accusation, saying that a medical team, made up of two doctors, a nurse, two midwives and a sanitary worker, had been dispatched from the Tambrauw regency health office on March 26 to the reported villages.

"The medical team was airlifted to Jokjober due to poor overland access, which could take three days travel, the team was later picked up by helicopter,” said Otto, adding that the residents suffered from anemia, skin diseases and

He said that the current situation in the villages had improved since medical workers had provided healthcare.

Minarto from the health ministry said that his office would dispatch a group of seven to distribute the support needed, including food and medicine.

He added that the team would not solely check on the health of the people in the regency, but to also investigate the cause of the diseases and determine whether it was due to improper sanitation, environment or food
Category: International | Views: 913 | Added by: Admin | Tags: Conflict, Indonesia, Freedom, West Papua | Rating: 0.0/0
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