Asia - pacific

Indonesia: 61 children die of measles, malnutrition

The health team has been deployed in 23 districts of eastern Papua province to prevent spread of measles

Ekip   | 15.01.2018
Indonesia: 61 children die of measles, malnutrition File photo

By Ainur Rohmah


At least 61 children have died of measles epidemic and malnutrition in Asmat Regency of eastern Papua province over the past four months, an official said.

Elisa Kambu, head of the regency, said dozens of children have died since September 2017, and the number could increase as the epidemic continues to spread in dozens of villages in the regency.

She said local government has deployed four health teams at 23 districts covering 224 villages to prevent the spread of measles outbreaks.

"I have started to lead a meeting with the medical team a week ago to address the serious issue," Kambu said as quoted by

"We agreed to form four teams to get to the field immediately to prevent spread of measles and give supplemental feeding for toddlers and children," she said.

She said the government did not respond quickly to the epidemic because, among other things, it was difficult to reach several districts and many people could not be found in their villages as they usually live nomadic and sometimes stay in the forest.

"In addition, the numbers of medical personnel serving the local clinics are also very limited," she said.

Elisha said the Asmat government still compiling the official data of citizens, who died from the epidemic. Nearly 500 children have suffered from the disease so far.

President Joko Widodo on Sunday had ordered local governments to move quickly to deal with the epidemic.

Children commonly suffer from malnutrition in Papua Province -- the most impoverished of Indonesia’s 33 provinces -- where meals are usually limited to vegetables and potatoes. The widespread lack of access to safe water and inadequate sanitation also cause a wide range of illnesses including malaria and leprosy in the province.

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.
Related topics
Bu haberi paylaşın