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Malaria-free Indonesia by 2030: A promise for better Papua

Jakarta Post April 24, 2008 delivered a very important news on national campaign against malaria. For people who live in Papua, malaria is a nightmare and almost unavoidable due to the bad condition of health and sanitation in Papua.

It’s a pity if we ignore the campaign because the issue is of course a very-very serious one. Campaign against malaria should be honest enough to attract the support from all Papuan.

Here is the news

Malaria-free Indonesia by 2030: Govt

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The government is launching a national campaign against malaria, saying the disease remains a serious threat despite the recent decrease in the number of cases.

“The number of malaria cases has been declining, but not by any significant amount,” Director General for Disease Control and Environmental Sanitation I Nyoman Kandun said Wednesday.

“In fact, Indonesia is still one of the countries with the highest risks of malaria, especially in the eastern part of the country.”

The Health Ministry recorded 311,000 cases of malaria in 2007, down from 350,000 in 2006. About 700 people die of the disease each year.

Provinces in the eastern part of the country, such as Papua, West Papua, Maluku, North Maluku and East Nusa Tenggara, remain the areas most vulnerable to malaria, with one in 10 people infected.

Kandun said malaria was a serious threat not only for human development, but also for the country’s tourism sector, a major source of revenue.

“Tourists are avoiding visiting malaria-prone areas. Malaria has scared away investment in those areas,” he said.

Erna Tresnaningsih, the Health Ministry’s director for animal-vector disease control, said the Culture and Tourism Ministry had predicted trillions of rupiah in potential losses from the tourism sector because of malaria.

“That’s why preventive measures will be intensified in tourism areas such as Bali, Lombok and Batam,” she said.

Erna said the government had changed its paradigm in eradicating the mosquito-transmitted disease, which treats all regions the same in terms of malaria control.

In conjunction with the first World Malaria Day on April 25, the government has prepared a nationwide campaign to fight malaria, with a target of eradicating the disease by 2030, said Rita Kusriastuti, the ministry’s head of malaria subdirectorate.

The campaign also plans to eradicate malaria in Jakarta, Bali and Batam by 2010, and in Aceh, Riau and other areas in Java by 2015.

A malaria-free Indonesia will be achieved by 2030 if the campaign manages to eradicate the disease in Papua, West Papua, Maluku, North Maluku and East Nusa Tenggara.

“The government is planning fully intensified and integrated activities to tackle malaria all across the country by 2020,” she said.

The government has established more than 800 coordinating centers for malaria control in outlying villages in the eastern part of the country. Rita said another 500 centers would be activated in West Nusa Tenggara.

The government will provide two million mosquito nets to malaria-prone regions this year. The nets will be imported from India, Vietnam and Thailand.

Kandun said 60 percent of the budget for the national campaign against malaria would come from the global fund, with the rest from the state budget. (dia)

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This Blog has gone through many obstacles and attacks from violent Free West Papua separatist supporters and ultra nationalist Indonesian since 2007. However, it has remained throughout a time devouring thoughts of how to bring peace to Papua and West Papua provinces of Indonesia.

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