Tackling Malaria in West Papua: Lessons Learned and Best Practices

West Papua

West Papua is one of the malaria-endemic areas in Indonesia. One way to prevent it is by reducing transmission by protecting vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and knowledge of human resources.

Lessons Learned and Ways to Overcome Malaria in West Papua

Based on the 2021 report, Papua Province is Indonesia’s most significant contributor to malaria cases. As many as 81 percent of malaria cases in Indonesia come from eight districts and cities in Papua. 

The West Papua Provincial Health Office will distribute mosquito nets against malaria in March 2023. The following are lessons learn and best practices for overcoming malaria in West Papua:

1. EDAT Program

The people of West Papua are solving the problem of malaria outbreaks through the Early Diagnosis and Treatment (EDAT) program.

The West Papuan malaria program through EDAT was initiate in 2003 and won the United Nations Public Service Award.

In EDAT, the community forms a Village Malaria Officer (JMK). With difficult access conditions, JMK is very helpful in reducing malaria cases.

JMK is a cadre task with examining and administering malaria drugs to sufferers. The cadres were select from the community according to mutual agreement.

They served as health workers who were previously equipped to understand health.

The case of checking the patient’s blood and administering malaria medication, based on the color of the scales under close supervision from health workers.

In addition to forming the JMK, anti-malarial drugs are repackage with a color system on the scales to make it easier to administer and use drugs for malaria sufferers.

2. Prevention of Community Behavior

Prevention of malaria in pregnancy in West Papua no longer uses drugs as prevention. They prioritize prevention with community behavior to avoid malaria mosquito bites.

People, especially at-risk groups, can use insecticide-treated mosquito nets while sleeping at night.

People can also use protective clothing when outside the house at night. Another way is to use mosquito repellent and keep the inside and yard clean from stagnant water.

It is also necessary to conduct training with midwives regularly. It is beneficial and influences changes in increasing knowledge, attitudes, and adherence of pregnant women to practice malaria prevention.

Counseling groups of pregnant women using media and groups of pregnant women without using media. 

Malaria is not a disease that can be underestimate. If you get this infection and don’t get it treat immediately, you risk complications, such as organ damage or death.

3. Complete Treatment with Siamal Cadres

Accelerating the reduction of malaria cases can be achieved through movement by finding and treating cases thoroughly and making efforts to prevent transmission,

By carrying out vector control (nets, spraying, environmental management) and community behavior.

The movement must be carry out in a total, simultaneous, integrate, massive, and continuous manner to obtain optimal results.

Reducing malaria cases and the absence of indigenous transmission is one of the conditions for eliminating malaria and modifying the environment.

Increasing access to sanitation can reduce malaria cases by 42 percent.

144 Heads of villages and sub-districts in Jayapura Regency play an active role in supporting the continuity of Siamal Cadres (malaria alert) activities in each village.

The village head prepares transportation financing for Siamal Cadres by applicable regulations and encourages the community to carry out malaria blood tests.

Malaria is a disease that is transmite through the bite of a mosquito that has been infect with the Plasmodium falciparum parasite.

This disease is commonly found in West Papua. The people of Papua also flocked to do various ways to get rid of malaria.