Condition in Asmat, Papua, improving: Minister

Condition in Asmat, Papua, improving: Minister

Illustration. The atmosphere of Kampung As, Pulau Tiga District, Asmat District, Papua. (ANTARA/Joko Susilo)

Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) - The condition of people in the district of Asmat, in the eastern province of Papua, has continued to improve following an outbreak of measles and malnutrition in the region from September 2017 until early January, a senior minister said.

"We have monitored the condition after the extraordinary case has been improving. Hopefully, it will continue to be better," Coordinating Minister for People`s Welfare Puan Maharani told ANTARA here on Thursday.

Maharani, along with Health Minister Nila Djuwita F Moeloek, Social Affairs Minister Idrus Marham, Education Minister Muhadjir Effendi, and presidential chief of staff Moeldoko, will visit Asmat to monitor the current condition there and check if all programs have been carried out.

She noted that almost 90 percent of the programs of ministries and institutions concerned have been carried out, including the delivery of aid supplies.

While in Agats, the capital of the district, Marham distributed Family Hope Program aid to mothers, while Effendi distributed Indonesia Smart Card education subsidy.

Maharani and the entourage also checked clean water facility in a 200-meter deep well made by the Public Works Ministry, as well as food crops to support food resilience program carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Regarding malnutrition problem that has affected children in the district, Maharani remarked that the problem has been tackled well by a health team, adding that only one person was still being treated in a hospital.

"Out of 80 children treated for malnutrition at the RSUD (regional) hospital, only two patients are still there. One of them has been allowed to go home, while the other still requires treatment for medical irregularity," she revealed.

The health ministry plans to send around 30 more medical personnel to Asmat in the near future.

"The team members from Nusantara Sehat (archipelago healthy) will be spread to other regions to check for any anticipatory measures," she pointed out.

Regarding education, Effendi has pledged to increase the number of teachers for schools in Asmat.

"The education minister noted that each school must have teachers to assure adequate education for the children," Maharani stated.

She explained that the mitigation program now being carried out in Asmat could not be completed immediately due to difficulty to access the region.

"This will continue until the end of the year. Everything that we establish in Asmat will be implemented in stages. We will evaluate it again in the next six months. It is still continuing," she pointed out.

Reported by Evarianus Supar