Malnutrition Case in Asmat Regency and the Much Needed Government Aid

Lukas Enembe, the Governor of Papua, has spoken out about the recent “yellow card” incident. The yellow card was raised by the Head of Executive Student Body of The University of Indonesia (BEM UI), Zaadit Taqwa, during President Joko Widodo’s speech. It symbolizes protest towards President Joko Widodo for various problems in Indonesia including the recent Asmat malnutrition and measles outbreak case.

In Lukas Enembe’s opinion, the government of Indonesia has taken many appropriate measures to tackle the challenges in Papua. Asmat malnutrition and Measles outbreak are some of the issues already under an ongoing Papua development plan being carried out by the Government of Indonesia (GoI).

The consistently decreasing mother and child mortality rate is one of the examples. In 2013 the mortality rate is 575 person per 100 thousand birth and in 2017 it has decreased to 289 persons per 100 thousand birth. These are the result of several policies such as the 1,000 days child support program. This program provides the nutritional needs and essential necessities of a child until it has reached 4 years of age.


Asmat malnutrition
The Minister of Health, Nila Farid Moeloek visited the patients via

President Jokowi him self has instructed that the aid for the victims of malnutrition and Measles in Asmat Regency, Papua, to be distributed ASAP. Hence, the Indonesian National Army (TNI) under the command of TNI Commander, Hadi Tjahjanto and Chief of National Police, Tito Karnavian have taken the instruction directly to distribute the government aid immediately.

The Minister of Health, Nila Farid Moeloek, has also sent her staffs to give medical help and even visited the patients her self. They have carried out Measles immunization to 13.300 children in the Asmat Regency. However, there are some areas that are still unreachable because of the geographical challenges.


Asmat malnutrition

Several government bodies has also been instructed to directly monitor the conditions, such as Directorate General of Road Infrastructure, Directorate General of Public Work, Directorate General of Housing, Directorate General of Water Resource, and so on.

Furthermore, President Jokowi has invited the members of BEM UI to visit Papua and see the condition in Asmat Regency themselves. He gave one example from his many visits to Papua when he went to Nduga. It takes days for him to reach destination. The access to Asmat is as problematic. It is full of swamps and they have to go there by boat for two to three hours which costs around 2 to 3 million IDR.


Asmat malnutrition
The Indonesian National Army asissted the distribution of aid via

The Social Minister, Idrus Marham also commented that President Jokowi has instructed him to do a holistic community development which can create empowerment and eliminate poverty.  If all regions in Papua have already been connected with supporting infrastructure, access would become way easier, prices will plummet, and welfare and prosperity will increase.

This year alone, the Asmat Regency has received Special Autonomy fund in the amount of 106 Billion IDR. Thirty percent will be used for education, twenty percent for economy development, and fifty percent for health (15 Billion IDR).

As for the student’s protest, President Jokowi thinks that it’s very understandable. Young student activists are always passionate and fiery. It’s good to have young people to remind him of what’s necessary.


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