Papua is located in eastern Indonesia with pristine geographical conditions. It also affects lifestyle, education, environment, economic conditions, and health. However, the most influential element is the health and welfare of indigenous people in West Papua. If you are curious about the information, here is a further explanation!
Social Status And Influence On Health
Papua is located in the easternmost region of Indonesia, with an area dominated by mountains. As a result, the standard of health care in Papua is quite low compared to other Indonesian areas. According to health data from Puncak Jaya Regency, infant mortality is around 85 to 150 per 1000 live births.
Some diseases can be treated from these data, such as diarrhea and pneumonia. However, some of them also show that the disease causes death in children. The overall data shows that malaria, respiratory tract infections, and dysentery are the causes of child morbidity. The rest, three times higher maternal mortality due to postpartum hemorrhage.
All cases of death occur because medical facilities are still lacking. Besides that, resources also do not meet in various areas in Papua. The ratio of doctors to population also varies by region from 1:2000 to 1:23,000, concentrated in urban areas. The amount is minimal to overcome the health problems in West Papua.
One of the government’s efforts is to allocate funds for health services. However, it only shows around 8% of the district budget. This number is still very low, so clinics face a shortage of essential medicines and a shortage of human resources. Lack of support from the government resulted in key personnel leaving their posts.
This case further undermines existing health services in Papua, especially at the low district level. In addition, some show that the level of HIV/AIDS in Papua is very high compared to other regions in Indonesia. Data from Médecins du Monde show that the HIV epidemic is increasing in the highlands, with an estimated population prevalence of 2.9%.
All of this stands ensuing because rapid social change increases the risk of HIV spreading to many areas in Papua, including the mountains. For this reason, the government began to focus on the distribution of condoms and started an adequate health campaign. This disease is a complex regional problem with social disturbances and conflicts in Papua.
The Effect of Mining Exploration on Traditional Welfare
One more thing that affects Papuan life is mining operations in West Papua Region. Almost all mining affects the life and welfare of the traditional Papuan people. Even one of the Guardian Articles asserts that mining operations are far from adequate occupational safety and health standards.
The impact affects the discharge of toxic waste into rivers, destruction of natural vegetation, environmental damage, flooding, and deforestation. In addition, local communities face the loss of local livelihoods and traditional products from their lands. Not only that, but the huge inflow from other parts of Indonesia to work in plantations and mining is causing a change.
It has an impact on the demographics and culture of the affected area. Migration continues to displace indigenous Papuans from land, jobs, and so on. The risk is that Papuans will become a minority group in their area. Meanwhile, the population of indigenous people in Papua decreases day by day and is experiencing backwardness.
Efforts to Address Papuan Health and Welfare Problems
Although the available data shows limited evidence, it represents that Papua is experiencing the greatest challenges in terms of humanity and welfare. People’s ability to improve themselves is also limited. As a result, this harms health and life in West Papua. Fortunately, Indonesia’s political relations, geopolitics, and economics are carried out with other countries.
In addition, the government advocate for more aid funds for health and other projects in Papua. Greater support is essential to improve primary health care and prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Furthermore, medical personnel is also brought in to improve the psychosocial aspects of trauma and displacement.
The government is also trying to forge links with Papuan academic and medical institutions. It offers training and exchange programs to help overcome the underdevelopment of health workers in the Papua region. There are also efforts to advocate for greater access with the significant collaboration of human organizations and researchers.
In addition, the government is also trying to conduct more accurate monitoring in addressing Papua’s health and welfare problems. All efforts are made to clarify the condition of the ecology of the damage, human rights, health, and well-being. By providing this data, the government can deal with complaints that occur in West Papua.
All in all, health problems are one of the challenges faced by traditional communities in Papua. Access to the economy, education, and health care are interrelated to influence each other. As a result, welfare in Papua is still minimal and isolated. For these reasons, the government makes every effort to address public health problems, etc.