17 Dec 2004

Papua infant deaths prompt medical mission

11:08 am on 17 December 2004

A church leader in the Indonesian province of Papua says nearly a hundred children have died from treatable infections within the last two months.

Reverend John Cutts says 97 babies have died in a remote region.

Chris Holm reports from Jakarta.

"Reverend John Cutts says all the babies from the remote Paniai area died over the past two months. They were suffering from dehydration, caused by fevers, diarrhoea and vomiting, he says. Hundreds of other villagers in the area are still sick, and a team of doctors from the American-owned Freeport mine has been been dispatched. The ailment has not yet been identified, but outbreaks of dysentery, malaria and dengue fever are common in the region, which has few doctors."