Malnutrition victims in Asmat reach 15 thousand

Jakarta : Papua police chief Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar stated that the number of malnutrition victims in Asmat district of Papua had reached 15 thousand people.

"The victims of malnutrition have reached 10 thousand to 15 thousand," Amar noted at the Police Academy (STIK) here on Wednesday.

He mentioned various factors behind malnutrition cases in the district, which includes its remote location, lack of access to health facility, transportation, nutritious food, and low economic level.

"Some rivers depend on tidal waters, which makes it difficult for boats to pass through the river at any time to distribute food," he added.

Amar described the minimal facilities at the public health center (Puskesmas) in Asmat, with lack of paramedics and medical doctors to head the center.

He called on the Police Headquarters Health and Medical Center (Pusdokkes) to send its physicians to health centers in Asmat.

"Young doctors program and internship in Papua is expected to fill the vacant posts, especially for Puskesmas head," he added.

According to the police chief, two thousand to three thousand vials of measles vaccine are needed.

"For backup, we need some two thousand to three thousand vials of vaccines, so that we can still vaccinate the kids in the near future," he remarked.

Papua police and Cendrawasih military regional command would establish a health task force to map areas that are prone to the diseases and visit the areas to address the problem.

"In some areas, we will trace it. We have information on epidemics in some other areas, such as in Bintang Mountains," he revealed.

On the measles epidemic and malnutrition in Asmat district, he explained that the medical team has provided health services to tackle the epidemics, while medicines and nutritious food, both from the government and private institutions, continue to flow into the district.

Measles epidemic and malnutrition have hit Asmat district since Sept 2017. As many as 61 toddlers had reportedly died due to measles and malnutrition.

Source: ANTARA News

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