Timika, 27/4 (Jubi) – The Mimika government has launched a campaign on the importance of using mosquito nets to prevent malaria.
“Malaria is still a serious health problem right now. According to the Ministry of Health, about 80 percent of the areas of Mimika Regency was the malaria endemic in 2009, which means that 45 percent of its population are still living in areas with high transmission risk,” Erens Meokbun, Fourth Assistant of Mimika Regency said in Timika on Sunday (27/4).
Meokbun said the malaria disease is in number one disease found among people who seek treatment at Puskesmas (Community Health Centers) and other health clinics in Mimika.
He further said besides a burden to the local economy; malaria also affects the intelligence of children.
“Malaria is not only a health problem or a responsibility of the health sector, but also a social problem which affects the social and economic sector. Therefore a forum is required in order to handle this issue,” Meokbun said.
He said the local government of Mimika has declared the Free Malaria Program for Mimika by 2026. And for the success of the program, the local government has coordinated with stakeholders.
“I look forward to all related stakeholders, either the local government, the army, the police, the regional and national public companies, private sectors, NGO and the community to use the moment of its commemoration today to actively participate and contribute to efforts to elimination of malaria,” he said.
Meanwhile, to commemorate the World Malaria Day, the Health Department of Mimika Regency and the Malaria Center of LPMAK (the Community Development Organization for Amungmy and Kamoro) together with Bank Papua Branch Mimika launch the campaign to encourage residents to use mosquito nets to prevent the spread of malaria.
The Head of Health Department, Ibrahim Iba said his office has selected the Kamoro Jaya Village as the venue to spread awareness because the village is among the worst-affected. He said, with the campaign, he hoped Mimika would be Malaria free by 2026. He also hoped the local community would be more prosperous. Iba said his office has distributed more than 100 mosquito nets in Kamoro Jaya village.
“We didn’t just give them, but our officers also helped install the nets,” he said.
Before being distributed to the residents, the mosquito nets have already been laced with insecticides to kill the mosquitoes when they hit the nets. At the event, the organizer also provided free blood tests.
“We are very grateful to all stakeholders who participated in this event and selected this village to distribute the mosquito nets,” said a local community leader, Amuruh. A Mimika resident, Maria Fabiola admitted she is very appreciative of the government’s program.
“The community must support and give a positive response to the program if it is useful. And also they are grateful to the all parties who gave the mosquito net,” he said.
The malaria prevalence in Papua was almost 36 times higher than the national level in 2013. More than 80,000 cases were found in Mimika Regency every year. The effort of malaria control has been conducted for years in Mimika Regency, the government however has not decreased the annual index of patient, which is 132 cases per 1,000 people in 2013.
Also in 2013, more than 17,000 houses has been sprayed with insecticide, 34,000 houses installed with the mosquito nets, 18,000 people have trained, 6,000 people had the blood test and 1000 people had be treated. (Jubi/Eveerth/rom)