West Lombok declares health emergency for malaria
The Jakarta Post
The West Lombok administration in West Nusa Tenggara has declared a health emergency following a surge in malaria cases after multiple powerful earthquakes rattled the region last month.
West Lombok Regent Fauzan Khalid announced on Friday that he signed the decree on Wednesday.
“The status will enable us to gather support from the West Nusa Tenggara [provincial] administration and the Health Ministry to handle the malaria cases because we can’t handle it on our own,” he said, adding that the regency was overwhelmed by recovery efforts and reconstruction projects.
The earthquakes that hit Lombok last month damaged at least 57,000 houses and displaced over 110,000 people.
The number of malaria cases in the regency continues to rise. The first case of the disease was found in late August in a camp located in Panimbung village, Gunungsari district.
West Lombok Health Agency head Rahman Sahnan Putra said malaria had infected 128 people as of Thursday, including a pregnant woman, two infants and two toddlers.
The agency has taken preventive measures, including handing out mosquito nets and mosquito repellent lotions to people in the four districts affected by the disease.
It is estimated that the regency needs as much as Rp 3.4 billion (US$229,800) to handle the malaria cases, including for mass blood surveys in locations infected with malaria, a necessary step as stipulated by a World Health Organization regulation on malaria. (ris/swd)
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