4 Jun 2008

Urgent call to WHO for help in Indonesia's Papua over deadly infection outbreak

9:06 am on 4 June 2008

A Human Rights NGO worker has written to the World Health Organisation about the spread of a deadly infectious bacteria believed to be Cholera in Indonesia's Papua region.

Paula Makabori, who works for the Institute of Papuan Advocacy and Human Rights, says more than 66 Papuans have died from this outbreak since the beginning of the year.

Writing to The WHO South-East Asia Regional Office, Ms Makabori says the infection is spreading in the Paniai and Nabire Regencies of Papua.

She is concerned that given the lack of heath services in those areas, the situation could lead to many more deaths.

She says it appears that Indonesian health authorities are unaware of this problem, or do not care about what happens in these remote areas.

"I would like them as the International Health Organisations to actually assign a team to investigate what's going on. This is not about politics or whatever. This is about the fundamental rights of people. The indigenous West Papuans are citizens of the world and they need help ."

Paula Makabori.