Jayapura, Jubi – Authorities have sent a health team after 32 toddlers in Nduga died of acute respiratory infections apparently triggered by the dry season, Nduga health chief Mesak Kogoya said.
This extreme weather also killed pigs, chickens and dogs, he said.
“We received this report from the Head of Nbuwa Puskesmas (public health center) and a team was established to conduct a field mission on 16 November 2015,” Kogoya told Jubi during the break of the Working Meeting of Papua Provincial Health Office and the Launching of book ‘Melawan Badai Kepunahan Gebrakan Papua Sehat Menuju Papua Bangkit Mandiri dan Sejahtera’ held at Cenderawasih University Auditorium on Tuesday (24/11/2015).
He added when team from Nduga and Wamena Health Offices went to the field, they found three toddlers already died.
“Until now there is no update report and I have not yet contact them to up date the progress,” he said.
Here the following report received by Jubi from the Head of Nduga Health Office: Digilmo Church reported five children were died, Imanuel Church reported eight children, Berapngin Church reported four children, Opmo Church reported four children, Dal Church reported three children and Labirik Church reported five children.
He said the deaths happened from 20 October to 11 November, and when he received the report from the Mbuwa Puskesmas Head, he immediately formed a team on 16 November 2016. “The team went itmmediately o the field and found a case of three children died,” he said. He denied the number of children died is forty.
He said he believed they died because of bronchitis pneumonia or shortness of breath.
Earlier several toddlers under two years old were reportedly dead in Mbuwa Sub-district, Nduga Regency. The medical team derived from Wamena said they also were not certain about the cause of death.
“Initially the children got sick, but not too long they died instantly. Until now forty-one children died. The medical team from Wamena has returned from the field but the cause of death has not been founded,” Mbuwa Sub-district Chief Erias Gwijangge told reporter on Tuesday (24/11/2015).
He explained Nduga Regency and surrounding areas were hit by drought season, even shortly exposed by fog due to He explained Nduga Regency and surrounding areas were hit by drought season, briefly exposed to smoke from land fires, and last month it started raining. In the early weeks of raining, a number of people’s cattle such as pigs, chickens were suddenly dead. “In the past three days we didn’t receive the report on the about the children who died,” he said.
Analyst officer at Puskesmas Wamena City, Yan Huby who joint the team said the team examined the blood sample of local children whether they had malaria but the result was negative. According to him, why did the team assume it was malaria because in 1998 when long drought stroke the Papua Central Highland area including Nduga, malaria plague has caused the death of hundreds of people.
“It was started with flu, fever, diarrhea then passed away. We were only asked to do malaria test, we did a rapid test in sub-district, and then another microscopic test in a laboratory in Wamena. Of 70 blood samples, all are negative malaria,” he said.
Concerning to this case, the Head of Papua Provincial Health Office, Drg. Aloysius Giay when confirmed after opening the Health Office Regional Working Meeting at Cenderawasih University Auditorium on Tuesday (24/11/2015) said he recently received a report three days ago related to incident. “We just received a report three days ago, there had not report at all during the time. Even Nduga Regent whom we confirmed also claimed he had not receive any report yet,” he said and further added he instantly instructed the team of Papua Health Office on field mission.
The team led by Yamamoto Sasarari, the Plague and Disaster Department Chief of Papua Provincial Health Office with the Regional Red Cross Chief Dr. Berry Wopari and a medical doctor, a pediatrician, nurses, laboratory analysts and surveillance staffs.
In the same place, the Head of Nduga Health Office, Mesai Kogoya said those who suffered of sudden dead are toddlers under two years old and origin of two sub-districts in Nduga, namely Mbuwa and Bumul Liama. “In
Mbuwa, there is Puskesmas (community health center) as well as doctor and Barefoot Task Force team (trained health volunteer) of seven, but because of the villages are located far apart, it took two hours at least, the medical staffs could not reach all the villages,” he said.
Meanwhile there is no Puskesmas at Bumul Liama but Pustu (community health sub-center). While Satgas Kaki Telanjang (Barefoot Task Force) is a team formed by UP2KP (Papua Health Development Acceleration Unit), a team of seven members who assist the health services in remote areas that had been unreachable by health services. Mesak explained the victims initially experienced heat, fever, chills, convulsion before died. “No diarrhea. They were only suffered by heat and fever. After get medicine, their temperature dropped to normal but hit by heat fever and convulsions and died,” he said.
Separately, the Plague and Disaster Department Unit of the Papua Provincial Health Office, Yamamoto Sasarari explained according to the clinical description reported by his team, he assumed those toddlers suffered from bronchopneumonia.
“But it is just an assumption. We can ensure it after examination on the ground. From the clinical description, there is also founded no hog cholera,” he explained.
Sasarari said his team received a report that 31 toddlers who died were come from Dolgimo, Opmo, Berapngin and Labirik that all are located in Mbuwa Sub-district. A member of Papua People’s Assembly Luis Madai said the Nduga Regional Government, Papua Provincial Government and the Indonesian Health Ministry must handle the case that occurred since the early of November 2015 immediately.
“This is a catastrophe, and all relevant stakeholders must take a prompt action to handle this incident, whether it was caused by kind of virus or something else, they must find out immediately and give help,” he said. (Roy Ratumakin/Dominggus Mampioper/rom)
ULMWP activists in Papua express gratitude to Oxford City Council
Jayapura, Jubi – Simon B Daby, a member of the Central Board Committee of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), said that West Papuans appreciate the Oxford City Council for granting the Freedom of Oxford” award to the Chairman of ULMWP Benny Wenda. Further, he said this award proves that the international community paid attention towards the efforts of the ULMWP and Wenda in fighting for Papuan self-determination.
The Freedom of Oxford is the highest honour given by the City of Oxford to people who have a significant impact on society. Benny Wenda is an internationally recognized diplomat and leader for the West Papua free movement. Since being granted political asylum in England in 2002, Wenda has fought tirelessly for the self-determination of West Papuans from his campaign office in Oxford.
Moreover, Simon B Dabby stated that this award is highly essential for all the people of West Papua. “We, the people of West Papua, congratulate Benny Wenda who received this award for his efforts to voice the calls of West Papuans for their right of self-determination to the international community,” said Daby on Wednesday (17/4/2019).
Daby continued to say that Mr Wenda has consistently declared injustice and human rights violations in West Papua since 1961 and campaigned for the right of self-determination for West Papuan. “Through this momentum, the people in West Papua convey to all state members of the United Nation to support their right of self-determination,” said Daby.
He also said the demand of West Papuan for self-determination aligned with the Indonesian Constitution 1945 in which stated in the first paragraph of the Preamble, “whereas independence is the inalienable right of all nations.” It is also following the UN General Assembly Resolution No. 1541 (XV) of 1960. The resolution stated that if a region has a geographical location and cultural ethics that are separate and different from its ruling and administrative state, this region is entitled to claim its right of self-determination.
Meanwhile, a member of the Legislative Committee of ULMWP for Anim Ha region, Pangkrasia Yeem, expressed his gratitude to the Oxford City Council for this award. He said the Freedom of Oxford award for Benny Wenda is a special gift for the Papuan people.
Furthermore, he asks all West Papuans to be united in advocating the ULMWP’s efforts for West Papuan self-determination. “With our support to ULMWP, we (will) establish our state as an independent and sovereign nation,” said Yeem on Sunday (14/7/2019). (*)
Reporter: Hengky Yeimo
Editor: Pipit Maizier
23 extra-judicial killings in West Papua last year – rights group
Papua, Jubi – A human rights group advocating for West Papuans in Indonesia says there were more than 20 extra-judicial killings by the military there last year.
Indonesian soldiers participate in a major military jungle warfare exercise in Poso, in central Sulawesi island, on March 31, 2015.
But the military has dismissed the findings, which come during an escalating conflict in Papua’s Highlands as rebels wage war on the state.
The International Coalition for Papua has documented 23 killings it claimed happened at the hands of Indonesia’s military in 2018.
The recently-released list ranges from bullet wounds to being burned alive, mostly in the troubled Central Highlands.
The rights group is demanding Indonesia launch independent investigations into all the cases, warning more deaths have been reported this year.
But a military spokesperson, Muhammad Aidi, said the report is a hoax and that some victims died from tribal violence.
He said others were rebels who died in gunfights after launching attacks on soldiers. (*)
West Papuan independence group urges primacy of TPNPB
Papua, Jubi – There’s strong opposition in West Papua to a reconfiguration of military forces in the struggle for independence from Indonesia.
The United Liberation Movement for West Papua, led by mainly exiled Papuan. claims it’s taking political leadership of a new unified military force, the West Papua Army.
The ULMWP last week said the Army was a united front between the West Papua Liberation Army, or TPNPB, and two smaller fighting forces.
Representatives of the TPNPB, and the broader Free Papua Movement, have since claimed they do not support thie unification anounced in the ‘Vanimo Border Declaration’.
This has been echoed by the West Papua National Committee, or KNPB, a pro-independence organisation focussed on peaceful campaigning.
Its international spokesman Victor Yeimo spoke to Johnny Blades about their concerns.
Victor Yeimo: We still struggle for independence, for our liberation. We need a liberation army. As you know, historically, this organisation (TPNPB) exist since 1961 and until today they exist, fighting on the ground. And the two other ones (the West Papuan National Army and the West Papua Revolutionary Army) separated from TPNPB. But in reality as West Papuans know, as well as colonial (power) knows, these two organisations never have an action on the ground. It’s not a competition between one organisation and another organisation, but in the unity, to liberate the West Papuan demand for self-determination, to go for our goal of freedom, we need one military organisation only. We don’t need many organisations. It wil make confusion in west Papua people. and it will make it difficult for us to make a solution; And it’s very dangerous for the guerillas and all the soldiers of the West Papua army on the ground because if there are three commands, three shystems going on in the ground, it will be difficult, because it will create problems within our military, and it will confuse. How can we attack the enemy through three systems of military organisations? In the revolution history, as you know, we need only one organisation of military.
Johnny Blades: But isn’t that what the ULMWP is trying to achieve, that they are all uniting?
Victor Yeimo: There are concerns in the constitution of the OPM (Free Papua Movement). As you know on the 1st of July 1971 when OPM declared proclamation of independence of the republic of West Papua, they have their own constitution. And this military, TPNPB, is under the constitution of the proclamation. Yes, it is important for us to unite, but in a military… they (West Papuan National Army and the West Papua Revolutionary Army) already split from the main organisation, the TPNPB. So I think now, in reality, the people of West Papua, we want to be free. So please if you want to unite, don’t degradate the existing organisation, the TPNPB, because today as you know on the ground TPNPB is still fighting with arms on the ground.
Johnny Blades: You’re saying that everything should be done under the auspices of the TPNPB, that it shouldn’t be a new united command; you’re saying it should be done under the rules and the constitution of the TPNPB because that’s the main military?
Victor Yeimo: Yes, the military has its own discipline of military. The constitution is something that we can discuss and unite. But the military is a tool for revolution. We need only one military and one discipline. So if they (the West Papuan National Army and the West Papua Revolutionary Army) if they have their own discipline of military, please bring it to the TPNPB. we have to strengthen the exist one. So then, what we want… we have one goal. So please use the existing one as our strength to attack the enemy. That’s the solution for KNPB. We are supporting the ULMWP but we encourage them to only recognise the TPNPB as the one and only military defence.
Johnny Blades: There’s been some criticism from people in the OPM, or TPNPB, about the way this (declaration) has been done. What do you think about the reaction?
Victor Yeimo: Yes, in the ground the reaction is negative. The other headquarters of each commander, like in Lanny Jaya, also in Puncak Jaya, also in Paniai, also in Yahukimo, also in Nduga, they are not involved in this declaration. So I believe that they are opposed to that declaration.
Johnny Blades: The KNPB has generally been a peaceful organisation. What do you believe in, does the military have a role in the struggle?
Victor Yeimo: Yes we support them in resistance as a defence force, as they have the same aim: to go for self-determination. But we have a different method. We organise people in West Papua through the peaceful means (including civil resistance and demonstrations). Until today KNPB believe in peaceful means. We don’t even hope the military action will give more influence inside our struggle because today people around the world, the solidarity just becomes bigger and bigger because our peaceful action in the ground. But it will not stop them fighting, because this is the reality in every struggle, a liberation army. We want our own military. It’s something that always happens in every struggle. So we want them to fight in accordance to their method.
Johnny Blades: The political leadership of the struggle, is it accurate to say that (ULMWP chairman) Benny Wenda is the head of that movement?
Victor Yeimo: I say that ULMWP should become co-ordinating body, not become a state or acting like a state. because we have too many factions and too many history. So we want today the organisations can unite all of the factions, all of the movements in West Papua through the co-ordination mechanism… like three years ago (at ULMWP’s inception). This is something important. We will have our own nation state after independence. So what we want today is to unite, co-ordinating the agenda and organisation, everything we can discuss. So, it’s not like now, everything comes from outside, from Benny Wenda, from outside. It’s not good for the unity. It will kill the unity because in our history there are too many people claiming they are the president, who claimed they have their own constitution and everything. We don’t want that. What we want today is freedom from Indonesian occupation. (*)
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