The Jakarta Post
Twenty-one out of 29 regencies and cities in Papua have received measles, rubela and polio (MRP) vaccines.
“The remaining eight regencies have yet to receive the vaccines,” Papua Health Agency vaccination division head Togu Sihombing said on Monday.
In addition to the measles and rubela vaccines, the government is also adding polio vaccines to the program because of a polio outbreak in neighboring Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Five regencies and cities in Papua -- Jayapura city, Keerom, Pegunungan Bintang, Boven Digul and Supiori -- share a border with PNG.
Togu said the agency had implemented the vaccination program dissemination in 26 regencies but not to the regencies of Yahukimo, Paniai and Central Memberamo.
“The three regencies have yet to implement the program dissemination because we are waiting for the right time,” he said.
He revealed that 14 regencies have low vaccination coverage due to them being in remote areas and a lack of awareness among residents about the program.
Papua Customary Community Council deputy chairman Weynand Watoti suggested that the government should involve traditional leaders to increase residents’ awareness of the program.
“People still believe in customary and religious leaders. The campaign would be more effective if it involved them,” he said.