Leprosy and Cataract Eradication in Mimika, Papua

Leprosy and Cataract in Papua may not be often put on the headline. However, like any area in the world, health issues are always present. Therefore, the Ministry of Health, has some plans up their sleeve for Papua. Currently, health care programs regarding leprosy and cataract eradication in Papua are being improved by the government.

The Ministry of Health is planning to build leprosy rehabilitation center in Mumugu, Papua, in the near future. These concerns are based on the fact that leprosy is an infectious disease and if not being handled well, it can spread and harm many people in Papua.

Unfortunately, Leprosy is now growing significantly. The number of patients in Mimika that got infected by this diseases have been increasing in the past few years.  Hence, the Public Health Office (Dinkes) in Mimika is very serious in handling leprosy. Dinkes Mimika will prioritize the employees in the Community Health Center (Puskesmas) and also support Puskesmas in conducting early detection and treatment.

Leprosy and Cataract in Papua
Secretary of Dinkes in Mimika Reynold Ubara. Via salampapua.com

“If we look at the data in 2015, there has been leprosy cases in the far Western part of Mimika, such as Aindua  and Yapakopa Village, and it has shifted to western central of Mimika, in Wakia and Uta Village. While in Timika City, leprosy patients are found in Kamoro Jaya Village, Wania Puskesmas and some other Puskesmas,” said the Secretary of Dinkes in Mimika, Reynold Ubara, in Timika, Tuesday. (11/10)
The treatment of leprosy patients in Timika City and the surrounding area is at the very maximum, because all of the medical staffs are directly involved in patients’ treatment, such as monitoring the daily medicine intake. However, the majority of people that got infected by this disease are the indigenous people of Papua who live in remote places and very far a way from medical services. Therefore, the central and local government are also going to fund the program to stop the spread of leprosy in Mimika, by allocating the special autonomy fund (Otsus) of Papua to Mimika Dinkes. This funding is expected to help stop the disease spread by building more medical services, hiring more medical staffs to help the patients, and creating a more comprehensive program to combate the disease.

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“In the following years, we plan to create a more comprehensive way to handle leprosy in Mimika. From the early detection up to preparing the medical staffs to monitor medicine intake (PMO) in the families that are infected with leprosy,” he added.

Reynold also said that the knowledge about this disease is important to minimize the spreading potential of leprosy in Mimika. Information on how to avoid contact with people who got infected by leprosy should be given to everyone who lives in Mimika. Moreover, the person who is infected with leprosy must know that the need to get a throrough treatment until the disease is fully cured.

Besides leprosy, treatment for cataract is also going to be carried out by the Health Bureau of Community Development Institute in Amungme and Kamoro (LPMAK) and Dinkes of Mimika in West Mimika, Papua Province. The treatment schedule was planned in last August, but it’s in pending because the leader of Indonesia Humanity Foundation (ICF) who was supposed to be the person in charge unfortunately passed away.

LPMAK is going to coordinate with many Puskesmas and support Puskesmas in West Mimika to handle cataract, such as Amar, Ipaya Kokonao, Keakwa, Timika beach, Atuka, and other villages in Mimika. Furthermore, LPMAK has asked the help of every Puskesmas staffs to information the weherabouts of patients with eyes impairment caused by cataract, Therefore, they can get further treatment and operation. There are 5.080 people from Timika City that have undergone screening and eyes check up, in 2014. From that number, it’s found that there are 240 people or around 5 percent that have eyes impairment caused by cataract.

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Not only Mimika can benefit from these programs. Treatments for leprosy and cataract in Papua in general can also get a more maximum progress. Hopefully, in the near future, we can have Papua that is free of Leprosy and cataract.


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