Long Road to Health Development in West Papua West Papuan


Long Road to Health Development in West Papua

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MANOKWARI -Day to day, the West Papua Health Office and the Ministry of Health continue to strive to improve the quality of West Papuan life. However, health development in this province is a long road filled with obstacles.

In his presentation at Swiss-Belhotel Manokwari, Monday (August 27, 2018), West Papua Province Health Office Head Otto Parorrongan, SKM, M.Kes. said that West Papua life expectancy in 2017 was only 65.32. From 2010, this figure has only increased in one particular year and is still below the national level.

The West Papuan community is still haunted by various diseases that common people may never experience. In this area, cases of malaria and annual parasite incidents (API) have dropped sharply since 2012. However, malaria is still an endemic and there were 6,929 cases in Manokwari in 2017.

In addition to malaria, another homework for West Papua is tuberculosis. Otto said that one of the problem is that the geographical conditions of West Papua were so vast and challenging. “Many patients cannot be treated until they are completely healed. They are hard to track because they went to Manokwari for the treatment but returned to (their home in) the mountains after,” he said.

HIV prevalence in West Papua also only dropped slightly from 2.4 percent to 2.3 percent between 2006 and 2013. It means that an acceleration program to resolve HIV is urgently needed.

For skin problems, leprosy and yaws also remain a problem in West Papua. Community in urban area might have never heard of the name but yaws or patek is a type of infectious skin disease caused by the lack of cleanliness. Symptoms of this disease are the appearance of small pimples, which when ripe will burst and secrete pus. After the pimple dried, it leaves crusts accompanied by headaches and joint pain.

Government’s Response

In response to malaria, West Papua introduced the Bela Kampung program which was the study result of various successful malaria control in West Papua, including the EDAT (Early Diagnostic and Treatment) system in Bintuni Bay. This program empowers community cadres to be directly involved in malaria control, such as taking blood and checking blood.

In addition, specifically for West Papua, an indicator of the Program Indonesia Sehat-Pendekatan Keluarga (Healthy Indonesia Program-Family Approach) was added for malaria. The local government also distributes mass mosquito nets, in which the net can kill or break mosquito’s snout.

The good news is that almost all cities and districts in West Papua have implemented GERMAS (Gerakan Masyarakat Hidup Sehat or Healthy Living Community Movement). JKN (Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional or National Health Insurance) memberships has also reached 97.07 percent and is projected to reach 100 percent in 2019.

Unfortunately, only 69 percent of hospitals and 24 percent of 157 health centers in West Papua are accredited. Otto said that this was due to limited human resources. “Puskesmas (Pusat Kesehatan Masyarakat or Community Health Center) in the rurals only have 5-10 workers so it does not fulfill accreditation. Our human resources (throughout West Papua) are only 5,217, still too small for the area,” he said.


Wibawa, SW August 27, Jalan Panjang Pembangunan Kesehatan di Papua Barat Retrieved from Kompas.com: https://sains.kompas.com/read/2018/09/01/180600523/jalan-panjang-pembangunan-kesehatan-di-papua-barat