The Indonesian Government has conducted quick response to the extraordinary condition of malnutrition and measles in Asmat Regency, Papua Province. Director of Nutrition, Directorate General of Nutrition and Maternal and Children Health, Ministry of Health, Doddy Izwardy explained that the directorate general has sent a flying health care team which consists of 39 health workers from various professions to meet the needs of health services at various districts in Asmat Regency. In a special interview with RRI World Service, Voice of Indonesia in Jakarta on Monday (22/1), he said that 1.2 tons of medicines has been distributed. To meet the nutrition needs of toddlers in Asmat Regency, Indonesian Ministry of Health has sent toddlers food supplement, food supplement for pregnant mothers and children food supplement from central food reserves. Previously toddlers food supplements and food supplement for pregnant mother have also been sent from the reserves of Papua Province. Meanwhile, food supplement for infants and food supplements for pregnant mothers have been sent in cooperation with Indonesian Military (TNI).
"The assistance has been done by the government, by sending food. TNI and POLRI, churches, stakeholders have provided various assistance. We also serve immunization and help to educate them. The total population is only 105 thousands. But they are nomadic and we must use boats to reach them," he said.
Doddy further explained, Asmat Regency has a very difficult geographical condition to reach. Asmat Regency generally consists of swamps, so, the source of food is very limited. The source of clean water only relies on rain resulting inadequate sanitation. People live in the forest and nomadic, so that the coverage of immunization is low. Although it has been maximally done by health personnel it cannot optimally increase immunization coverage and vitamin A supplement distribution./// (Sekar/trs.Rezha)