The army paramedics are visiting the households in need of the healthcare services
Merauke Papua (ANTARA) - Indonesian soldiers stationed near the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border are providing free healthcare services to native Papuans in Tomerau village, Naukenjerai sub-district, Merauke district, Papua province.

"The army paramedics are visiting the households in need of the healthcare services," Commanding Officer of the Indonesia-PNG Border Security Task Force/611/Awang Long Infantry Battalion, Lt. Col. Albert Frantesca, said.

By visiting the residents, the army's medical workers are able to know their real health condition, he said in a statement that ANTARA received in Jayapura, the capital of Papua province, on Monday.

The free healthcare services indeed meet the needs of locals seeking medical care, he said, adding that the community service has helped maintain an emotional connect between the soldiers and villagers.

Lena, a Tomerau village resident, said she appreciated the task force's healthcare services.

Indonesian soldiers stationed in Papua and West Papua have demonstrated exemplary capability in maintaining peace and stability in both provinces for decades in their endeavors to safeguard the country's territorial integrity, officials said.

The soldiers are chiefly tasked with securing peace and stability in the country's easternmost provinces, they added.

However, they are also living and mingling with members of local communities, which has provided them a glimpse of the challenges faced by native Papuans in their day-to-day lives, they said.

Free healthcare services are also being provided by Indonesian soldiers stationed at Jagara village's security post in Walesi sub-district, Jayawijaya district, Papua province.

Last month, seven villagers came to the army's security post, Lt. Col. Dedy Dwi Cahyadi, Commanding Officer of the RK 751/VJS Infantry Battalion's Task Force for Area with Security High Risk Status, said.

Three of them were ill, and wanted to see a doctor, he said.

"From the beginning, we have informed the local community, customary, and religious leaders that residents need not hesitate to come to us, especially for healthcare services," he added.

Cahyadi said his men are always willing to assist villagers seeking medical care.

"We are helping the sick residents at our post or we are going to their houses," he said, adding that several villages in Jayawijaya district are located far away from hospitals and public health centers.

Meanwhile, the task force's doctor, Second Lieutenant Dr. Andreas, said the Walesi security post has a sufficient number of paramedics, stocks of medicines, and medical equipment.

"We can provide preventive healthcare and serve those in need of medical treatment," he remarked.

A native Papuan woman named Karopaleke (34) recently brought her child who had injured his forehead to the Walesi security post and also received medication for her fever, according to the press statement.

"I thank the paramedics who have helped me and my child," she said, according to the press statement.

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Translator: Muhsidin, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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