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Jakarta Post

61 Papuans die in remote hamlet

  • Nethy Dharma Somba

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, April 11 2013   /  09:04 am

Sixty-one residents of Samenage hamlet in Helenga district, Yahukimo, Papua, are reported to have died between January and March this year due to a variety of illnesses, some of which are related to malnutrition, a source said on Wednesday.

The data was provided by a pastoral team that paid a visit to the area during the recent Easter celebrations, said human rights activist and Catholic priest John Jonga of the Hepuba parish, which serves the mountainous Central Highlands area of Papua.

Yahukimo, which has a population of more than 164,000, was originally part of Jayawijaya regency before it was hived off as a separate entity, and is located some 800 kilometers from Jayapura, the Papuan capital. The hamlet can only be reached by light aircraft.

“We have recorded 61 deaths due to health issues such as respiratory problems, liver problems, diarrhea, guinea worm d...