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Dealing with malnutrition and measles in Asmat

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Integrated Task Force Team on humanity evacuated 14 children with malnutrition and measles to RSUD Agats, Asmat Regency – Jubi/Ist.

Source: Koran Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – When the attention of the central government was absorbed into the case of malnutrition and measles outbreaks in Asmat Regency, a similar incident that resulted 23 toddlers’ dead has been arisen from Pegunungan Bintang.

Integrated Humanity Task Force team has evacuated 14 children with malnutrition and measles from Atsi District to RSUD Agats in Asmat Regency, Papua, on Friday, January 19th.

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Head of the Papua Police Public Relations A.M Kamal said eleven of fourteen children are diagnosed with broken legs and hands, while two were infected with measles.

“The eleven patients were referred to the Agats Public Hospital using Polair Mimika Police vessel,” he said.

Before evacuating, a team of four personnel and one motorist delivered medical supplies and foodstuffs from Bhayangkari Region of Papua, Bank Papua, Bank BRI, and other agencies. The stuffs were include biscuits, milk for toddlers, mineral water, rice, and cooking oil.

Papua Police Head (Kapolda) Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar also briefly visited the Atsi sub district to observe the on the spot conditions, including to see the children who exposed to measles and Malaria and their mothers that were being treated in the Atsi Sub-district Health Center.

Kapolda said, the malnourished patients who had been evacuated by the task force team will get a better treatment.

As quoted by Antara, Kombes Pol A.M. Kamal explained that the Integrated Task Force of Polda Papua held a treatment for 472 Asmat people with measles and malnutrition who live in eight villages in Asmat District.

The treatments were conducted on Saturday, January 20th in two sub-districts, namely Aip Sub-district which consisted of Kampung Kawet, Mausi, Comoro, Satoyot, Tomor Airo-Airo and Awiyu Sub-district consisting of Sagare, Yepu and Wagi Villages.

“Of the 472 patients who received the treatment, ten were referred to Puskemas (health centre) Atsi with a diagnosis of measles, dehydration and malnutrition; and immunized citizens of 112 people. In early January there were five children who died there due to measles,” he said.

Outbreaks of measles and malnutrition that have occurred in Asmat Regency since September 2017 have caused 68 children and under-fives to die. This report caused Jakarta to be shocked then mobilize the team to overcome the situation.

Regent of Asmat Elisa Kambu acknowledged, since September 2017 Health Office of Asmat Regency records the presence of measles disease. But just 23 December they had received a report from the Bishop of Agats, Aloysius Murwito of the children who died in Kampung As, Pulau Tiga District.

“I myself also found a toddler who died and dozens of children suffering from measles and malnutrition in Kampung As and Atat, then I immediately had ordered the head of health office to overcome it,” said Kambu during a coordination meeting with the Presidential Staff Team (KSP), Health Ministry team, Ministry of Social Affairs, Papua Province, TNI and Papua Police on Wednesday, January 16th, as quoted by Antara.

According to the Regent his team had started work on January 1st to January 11th and has treated hundreds of patients with measles. A total of 393 of them were outpatients and 175 had to undergo hospitalization.

“There are obstacles that occur when dealing with this outbreak, there are only 12 doctors and one special doctor in Asmat,” he said.

From 16 health centres (Puskesmas) which are scattered, only seven have doctors. Lack of health equipment and distances far apart had contributed to the shocking number of victims.

Father Hendrik Huda, who accompanied the Presidential Staff Office (KSP) team, said that the district of Asmat is almost 90 percent water-covered and all its citizens spread across 23 districts (sub-districts) living on the banks of the river.

“Most of them live and eat directly from what nature had provide, looking for fish and sago, they often leave their houses by the paddle boats with their families down the river and make small huts to live for food, this livelihood that makes them need to go far to get good nutrition,” he said.

Meanwhile, Yan Akobiarek from the Remote Humanitarian Community Care (Kopkedat) of Papua asked the government not only to see the big problems that occurred in Papua such as the outbreak, but also the small problems.

“The smallest thing must be considered before it becomes a big problem,” he told Jubi in Jayapura, Wednesday (December 17).

According to Yan, what happens today is not only KLB in Asmat, but also in some areas in Papua such as Korowai which is also in the administrative area of ​​Asmat Regency.

“I take the example as in Baigon, Mabul, Amakot, Ayak and surrounding areas, many people are experiencing the same thing, but the case does not explode so that the various diseases were not known to many people,” he said.

When attention was drawn to health issues in Asmat District, it was reported that in Okbab District, Pegunungan Bintang District, malnutrition cases also occurred causing 23 infants to die in Kampung Pedam.

Reports received by the Papua Health Office are the under-five mortality occurring from December 6, 2017 to January 11, 2018. (*)

 

Editor: Zely Ariane

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Thousands of Papuan joins the rally condemning racism

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Lukas Enembe, the governor of Papua Province talks to thoousands protester in Jayapura. – Supplied

Jubi, Papua – Monday, 19 Augusts 2019. Thousands of students from the Faculty of Social and Political Science of the University of Cenderawasih closed the university’s gate, the only access to its Waena Campus in Perumnas 3, Heram Sub-district of Jayapura Municipality.

The gate became the point of a mass rally in responding to the acts of violence and racism against Papuan students in Malang and Surabaya a few days ago. In addition to the University of Cenderawasih, masses also gathered at some points in Expo Waena, the University of Science and Technology Jayapura, Abepura suburb and Jayapura City

Thousands of Papuan communities of different backgrounds ranging from students, KNPB activists, community-based organisations, the association of regional student dormitories in Jayapura, and ordinary people including children, joined the rally. Their number grew bigger and bigger as people united the crowd on the road. Walking and riding motorbikes, they walked towards the governor’s office located in the central of Jayapura City.

Before reaching their end, first, the crowd stopped by the office of Papua’s People Assembly (MRP) in Kotaraja. There, Victor Yeimo, the KNPB spokesperson for international affairs, asked assembly members to join the crowd.

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“If MRP wants to protect the dignity of Papuans, let’s join us. Indonesia mocked us by calling Papuans ‘monkey’. This humiliation was not coming from the local mob, but soldiers and the police as well,” said Yeimo, who was the General Chairman of the Central KNPB in his five-minutes oration.

The crowd then continued their long march passing Skyland and Entrop roads. All Papuans whose houses nearby were very supportive of the protesters by giving bottled mineral water. They also showed their support by clenching their hand and yelling ‘free Papua nation’. Along the road, people chanted “we are nor red and white, but the morning star” and yell out ‘freedom’ and ‘referendum for Papua’, while around hundreds of police and dozens of military personnel stayed close to them.

When the crowd arrived in Taman Imbi in the central of Jayapura City, hundreds of protesters made up activists, residents and youth communities have waited for them. Meanwhile, hundreds of police officers also deployed to the scene. All stores and shopping centres in Jayapura City mostly closed.

The city almost entirely occupied by indigenous people. Only one or two non-Papuans appeared standing near the protesters. Jayapura City, the centre of business where homes for mostly non-Papuans, seemed entirely belong to Papuans. “This is our land. If they call us ‘monkey’, Indonesia must get out from here,” yelled the crowd.

Finally, the crowd arrived in the governor’s office where Governor Lukas Enembe already waited. It took seven hours for them to walk 16 kilometres from Waena to the governor’s office. Here, students, youth and customary leaders alternately gave speeches in front of the crowd.

People incessantly hailed the name of Victor Yeimo asking him to speak. Along with some other activities, he got on the stage. The audience cheered on him. “Papuaaaa?” he screamed over the crowd. “Freedom!” the group replied. He repeated the same yell three times.

In front of the crowd, Yeimo stated that today was a big moment for Papuans. People gathered together for not only about racism against Papuan students in Java, but many factors that accumulated into Papuans’ outrage.

“We are gathering here for not only because we are called ‘monkey’. Moreover, but also justice for our brothers in Nduga who fled to the jungle. We urge the Indonesian government to investigate the human rights violations that had never settled. We ask them to stop exploiting our natural resources and forests!” said Yeimo. Further, he said Papuan people no longer care about infrastructure development because it was not what they asked. “Road constructions have damaged our forest! What about Special Autonomy? Does it give us benefits for the last 19 years running in Papua,” he added.

Then, the Papuan Governor Lukas Enembe got on the stage to express his anxiety on what was happening to Papuan students in East Java. We are not descendants of apes. Therefore, I deeply regret why in Indonesia, which is already 74 years old, there are people still acting small-minded like that. Malaysia is a lot better, though they are from the same root, Malay,” he said.

In addition to his children who are studying overseas, he said his administration sends more than a thousand Papuan students to study abroad. “So, we have dignity. I stated to the Governor of East Java that Papuans love Gus Dur (former president from East Java origin – red) as he loved us. Gus Dur was very protective towards Papuans in East Java. Why did Banser (Ansor Front) not deployed to calm down the mob persecuting Papuan students yesterday?” he questioned.

Moreover, Enembe also released a five-points statement on behalf of the Papuan Government. First, it says that the Provincial Government of Papua expresses its anxiety and concern about the incidents in Surabaya, Semarang and Malang, which caused the arrest of Papuan students by security forces. The provincial government also appreciates the legal enforcement by the security force when it’s done proportionally, professional and fairly. The security forces were expected not to neglect persecution or any vigilant acts either by groups or individuals that potentially hurt the feeling of Papuans. People should avoid doing oppressive actions that can cause casualties, political conflicts and destroy the spirit of nationalism among citizens.

Second, Papua is the territory of the Republic of Indonesia, known as the real miniature of Indonesia. It represents the diversity of Indonesian multi-ethnic, cultures, and religions living in harmony. The indigenous people of Papua welcome and treat non-Papuans with respect and equality. Therefore, we wish that Papuans are treated in the same respect in many parts of Indonesia. This should become our mutual commitment as a nation to create a peaceful Indonesia that politically, economically and culturally safe for everyone.

Third, the Provincial Government of Papua asks all Papuan communities in Papua Province and other provinces in Indonesia to respond to the incidents in Surabaya, Semarang and Malang appropriately without any single act violating the cultural norms and laws.

Four, we expect non-Papuan communities throughout Indonesia to maintain peace and not to conduct unconstitutional acts such as persecution, oppression, racism, discrimination, intolerance and other actions that can harm the feeling of Papuan communities and disturb the tolerance and harmony among citizens. In our 74th anniversary, we should not let the acts of intolerance, racism and discrimination in our country.

Finally, as the Governor of Papua, I invite all governors, regents, and mayors throughout Indonesia to protect Papuan students who studying in their regions, as much as we do to non-Papuan students and communities in our region. This is our mutual effort to prevent a similar incident occurred in the future as well as to maintain our nationalism, unity and togetherness as a nation.

Meanwhile, the General Chairman of the Central KNPB Agus Kossay stated the rally was a manifestation of Papuan peoples’ perception towards the meaning of 74 years of Indonesian independence which they found it useless due to racism. It shows that Papua is not part of Indonesia. They said we were monkeys. And the statement came from military and police culprits. So, lets us get out of Indonesia,” he said.

Further, he continued that they want all Papuan students studying in Java will be guaranteed safe. “If there is no guarantee, a similar incident might be repeated. When it happens, it would be better sending them home,” he said.

People were still gathering in the lawn of the governor’s office until 6 p.m. They were gradually dispersed and going home at around 7 p.m. (*)

 

Reporter: Kristianto Galuwo
Editor: Pipit Maizier

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A story of Nduga refugees: giving birth in the jungle

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Illustration of refugees. -Jubi/Pixabay.com

Jayawijaya, Jubi – The shooting over some construction workers of PT Istaka Karya in Yigi, Nduga Regency on 2 December 2018 has still left a scarce in the heart of local people. They are now still living with physical and mental injuries.

Among many innocent victims and refugees, there is a young woman who is leaving with trauma. She previously chose to not living her village located in Mugi sub-district when the incident occurred in the early of December 2018. But the twenty-one aged woman had to make a decision. With six children whom one was still inside her womb, at that time she was in two months pregnant, she must flee to a safer place.

“My husband went first and took two our children to a safer place,” she told Jubi in a refugee camp settled in Jayawijaya on Saturday (3/8/2019).

But when her village was surrounded with gunfire and house burning, terrifying she decided to take her other three children to the forest since January 2019. Like other refugees, she and her family eat what they could find in the jungle to survive. “Sometimes, we ate leaves or whatever we can fund to stay alive,” she said.

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She lived for nearly six months in the jungle that made her not aware of her time to give birth. One day she experienced bleeding and chose to take a rest. Then in the evening, she gave birth to a boy without assistance from anyone. “The baby was born under a big tree. I was alone. My family came when it just has done,” she said.

Because of a difficult time while in the jungle, she thought her baby was not safe in her womb. “I thought this boy already dead. But when I pushed my belly down, he still alive. It’s all God blessing,” she said.

After taking birth, she took fern leaves that she found in the jungle to wrap her baby’s body. If the weather was remarkably cold, she counts on the campfire and would hold him close to her body. After spending days in the jungle with her baby, she continued to walk and arrived in her family’s house in Jayawijaya where she lives now in June 2019.

When Jubi came to see her, her son remains not wearing clothes. She admitted that she and her family still do not want to accept the government’s aid because the military helps its distribution. Until now, she is still traumatic seeing soldiers.

“I witnessed the soldiers shot my family. It made me scared of them. Soon when they heard gunfire, people run away. But I witnessed that incident. I am traumatized by the sound of gunfire,” she said.

Now, she only counts on her breast milk to feed her son, though sometimes it’s not enough.

Meanwhile, another woman who came to the refugee camp earlier said she and the other three families flee because soldiers have come to their village.

“We had to sleep in a cave. There was no tent or shelter to cover us. After we felt a bit safer, we built a hut from woods and leaves in the jungle. While for food, we counted on leaves we found to be cooked” she said.

For this article, Jubi met a woman who was also pregnant when fleeing from her village and gave birth to her eighth child in the forest. “My baby is a girl. She was born in the refugee shelter,” she said.

Every day she saw the armed conflict between the Papua liberation army and the Indonesian military. Like other refugees, she and her family also count on what they found to survive.

“When I was tired to walk while in the running to avoid gunfire, I ever thought it was fine if I got shot but not my child. She must stay alive even I was shot dead,” she said. (*)

Reporter: Islami Adisubrata
Editor: Pipit Maizier

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NGOs questions KPA on billions of funds channelling for people living with HIV

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HIV/AIDS Care volunteers who were recruited by KPA Papua province a few months ago to help KPA in counselling. – Jubi / Agus Pabika

Jayapura, Jubi – Some NGOs and communities working with people living with HIV in Jayapura asked the Provincial Aids Commission (KPA) of Papua to transparently report the distribution of funds amounted Rp 1.5 billion allocated to increase nutritional intake among people living with HIV in Papua Province.

The chairperson of the Papua Community Health Development Foundation (YPKM) Joice Erlerly said so far these institutions are not aware of the funds distributed by the KPA Papua.

“We knew about this information after reading an article published in a printed newspaper in Jayapura City. However, the article did not state who had received the funds? Where did it distribute? Regional or provincial level?” said Joice on Tuesday (08/13/2019).

Moreover, she added her institution have never had the coordination or communicated with KPA about any distribution of funds for people living with HIV/AIDS. “YPKM along with those who care about this issue still provide nutritional intake for people living with HIV,” she said.

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Concerning the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Papua, she clarifies there are 48 thousand in which 6,000 alone are living in Jayapura City.

Meanwhile, Roberth Sihombing, an HIV activist in Papua, said that the five thousand people living in HIV/AIDS mentioned by the KPA Papua must be held accountable. “It would be nice if the KPA Papua works together with health services such as hospitals, community health centres and NGOs that assist people living with HIV/AIDS to get a valid data,” he said.

As clearly stated by him, people living with HIV/AIDS, in particular, those who registered in the community health centres need nutritional intake, especially pregnant women.

“A good program will only be more effective if it’s been well because the program of HIV/AIDS prevention and elimination requires the involvement of all parties. If the KPA Papua already had a study on nutritional intake needs among people living in HIV/AIDS, they can go ahead. Unfortunately, I think they don’t,” he said. (*)

Reporter: Agus Pabika
Editor: Maizier Pipit

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