Diarrhea kills 58 in Papua
The Jakarta Post, Wamena
Within a space of one month an outbreak of diarrhoea has wiped out 58
residence of Papua’s Jayawijaya regency. However, the number might be
higher since many of the people are living in the remote areas.
The outbreak, which began on 16th March, is believed to have been
brought about by consuming contaminated pork. To make matters worse,
the rainy season has worsened the low-hygienic condition in the areas.
It has spread to Assologaima, Hubi Kosi, Kurulu, Musatfat and Wamena
areas – however, it was feared that it had spread to other regencies,
such as Yahukimo and Tolikara.
Wamena hospital has been treating more than 630 patients since the
outbreak, of which nine have died. The director of the hospital,
Viviana Maharani Pradoto Koesoemo, worries about those who are living
in the inaccessible areas where the number of sufferers might be
considerably higher. She has informed the Minister for Development of
Disadvantaged Regions Saifullah Yusuf, who made unscheduled visit to
the hospital regarding the situtaion.
According to the head of the Jayawijaya Health Office, Perry Jigibalom,
the outbreak started after residents consumed pork during a ceremony in
Abusa village in Kurulu district in March. The meat was suspected of
not being properly cooked and of being diseased.Earlier, hundreds of
pigs around the district died of cholera but his office immediately
assisted residents who fell ill after eating the contaminated meat and
thus, early treatment had been able to prevent the illness to a higher
degree.Having been under control by the end of March, the outbreak
re-emerged in Mid April. In just a week after the reappearance, it
killed 25 people in Muliana hamlet in Assoligaima district. Perry
blamed the rapid spread of the disease on residents' nomadic lifestyle
which makes it quicker to disperse the disease.
He said his office was in need of medical supplies and tents to provide
health services to those living in remote areas.Perry said that so far
his office had only received medical supplies and medical workers from
Papua's Health Office, but none from the Health Ministry. He strongly
believes that this outbreak is caused by unhygienic living condition,
where people living with their pigs, which deteriorate during rainy
season. In addition, they always drink dirty water which should be