Jayapura (ANTARA) - The Papua Health Office dispatched a team to Bomela Sub-district, Yahukimo District, to check the validity of a report stating that 17 residents had died after becoming symptomatic with fever, diarrhea, cough, and cold.

The team of health workers dispatched to the targeted area on June 18 comprised a doctor, two nurses, a nutritionist, and midwife, Head of the Papua Health Office's Epidemic of Diseases and Disaster Mitigation Department Yamamoto Sasarari stated here on Monday.

"They also bring medicines to offer health service to the residents of Bomela Sub-district," he noted, adding that the targeted area could only be accessible by a small aircraft that departed from Jayapura, Papua Province's capital city.

The students of Yahukimo District informed the public through the media of the deaths of 17 residents of Bomela Sub-district, Sasarari revealed.

In 2018, Asmat District in Indonesia's Papua Province had captivated the local and foreign media. However, the global print and electronic media's attention had nothing to do with the Asmat tribe's excellence in wood carving or other forms of cultural heritage.

Rather, during that time, media organizations had turned their attention to the district, described by the UNESCO as a world heritage site in 2011, following a measles outbreak and cases of malnutrition resulting in the deaths of at least 71 children.

The emergency response and hard work of the local and central governments, in collaboration with several related parties, had resulted in the extraordinary incident of the measles outbreak status in the district being lifted.

However, to tackle the problem of malnutrition, the central government has made steady efforts under which the Indonesian Health Ministry, at that time, pledged to continue its community-based nutrition program called "Family Nutrition Improvement Program" there.

According to ANTARA, this devastating reality is indeed a wake-up call for all related parties within the government bodies and Asmat tribe members.

For the district and provincial governments, the Asmat human tragedy has brought to light the fact that the large amount of special autonomy funds disbursed by the central government over these past years were unable to bring prosperity to the Papuan people and create a high human development index. Related news: President calls for serious attention to nutrition of Asmat children
Related news: Infrastructures to improve Asmat`s quality of life


Translator: Musa Abubar, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2019