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wp ) 61 Die in Papua Due to Poor Healthcare Access

April 10, 2013

http://www.tempointeractive.com/hg/nasional/2013/04/11/brk,20130411-472587,uk.html

61 Die in Papua Due to Poor Healthcare Access
Thursday, 11 April, 2013 | 00:45 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jayapura – In the last two months, at least 61 people have died in Samenage, Yahukimo district, Papua. It is suggested that they died from illness made worse by the area’s lack of access to healthcare.

"This was from mid-January to late March. We received accurate data on the name and address of the deceased," Father John Djonga, Jayapura’s Catholic Church leader, said on Tuesday, April 9.

John said that the people mostly died after being sick for quite some time. Local clinics were unable to cure the diseases. "Most of the victims were women and children in nine villages. People’s lives there are far from healthy," he lamented.

District head of Yahukimo, Ones Pahabol, said he had not received the death reports and data. "How come so many numbers of deaths were not reported to the government? I refuse believe that data," he said, adding that he would deploy a team to prove the reports.

Previously, the Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago reported that 95 people in the District Kwoor, West Papua, died from a boils plague from November 2012 to February 2013. The lack of medical officers in the district has left patients untreated.

The Samenage district is inhabited by several tribes. The majority of residents make a living as farmers. The only means of transportation to the district is by chartering a plane from the Associated Mission Aviation (AMA) from Wamena city. The fare is Rp8 million per flight.

JERRY OMONA

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