UNICEF: Malaria still dominant in Papua

JUBI 7 October 2010

UNICEF: Malaria still dominant in Papua

Malaria is still the major health problem in Papua and causes widespread
damage, with 17 percent of the population affected in 2009, according to
the UNICEF representative, William Hawley who, together with the US
ambassador to Indonesia, Scot Merciel, held a meeting with midwives at
the local clinic  in Abepura.

With such a high percentage of the incidence of malaria in 2009, the
financial cost was at leasst Rp 20.5 billion for the year. 'Malaria not
only affects the health of pregnant women but also the foetus being
carried by the women as well as the baby.'

He said that it causes anaemia, infection of the placenta, malaria
complications and can even be fatal. As a result, babies are often born
underweight or prematurely and are stillborn or underweight babies which
can result in their death.'

Jana Fitria who is the UNICEF representative in Papua said she hoped
these problems would be tackled as quickly  as possible with the help of
experienced midwives. Combating malaria  has been part of the USAID -
UNICEF programme in Papua since 2006, with a total investment so far of
US$4 million.