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.