ACTNews, ASMAT – Immediate response are highly needed. Concrete actions during the recovery phase after the outbreak of measles and malnutrition in Asmat are prioritized. Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) traveled along several villages in several Asmat districts.
The actions during this recovery phase focus on the distribution of the rice aid. Best quality rice was transported from Merauke through the Humanitarian Ship.
On Wednesday (14/2), Humanitarian Ship for Papua was harbored in Akat District once more. This was not the first time for the ship to visit Akat District. A day before, Tuesday (13/2), the ship visited Bayawpinam Village in that district. On Wednesday (14/2), the ship visited Kampung Ayam and Kampung Wau Cisau in Akat District.
In terms of distance, Akat District is not too far away from Agats District, the capital of Asmat Regency. However, as recorded by Agats Regional General Hospital (RSUD Agats) measles also spread widely in Akat.
To recover the condition of the children in Kampung Ayam, no less than 20 sacks of best quality rice were carried by longboats from the storehouse of Asmat’s Department of Social Welfare.
They sailed for one hour, through winding rivers, to Kampung Ayam. The villagers warmly welcomed us on the dock. The sacks of rice were then unloaded, and carried by the local residents to the Rumah Bujang, the traditional gathering house of Asmat people.
The arrival of the rice aid, naturally, became a joyful sight for the local residents, for this village is among the worst-afflicted areas during the outbreak in late January.
The data gathered by ACTNews team showed that at least 114 children were affected by measles, killing a toddler. During the recovery phase, there are still cases of measles. The data from the Community Health Clinic of Akat District showed that there are still 37 children that are being treated in their recovery rooms.
Karelkar, the village secretary of Kampung Ayam, said that he is extremely grateful for ACT’s response, who care about the condition of his fellow villagers.
“We didn’t expect to receive the blessing from God through our brothers in ACT. May God bless us all,” he said after symbolically receiving the rice in the rumah bujang.
Kampung Ayam is dwelled by 650 people, 220 families. This village is among the nearest villages to Agats, the capital of Asmat. Most of the men in Kampung Ayam work as fishermen and farmers, growing vegetables such as kale and mustard greens.
Rice distribution in Kampung Wau Cisau
Still on the same day, the humanitarian ship sailed on. From Kampung Ayam, ACT team traveled through long, winding rivers around Asmat regency. The current was slow; the travel was calm and not too shaky. The sun shone brightly although it rained in the morning.
From Kampung Ayam, ACT team carried another 20 sacks of rice to Kampung Wau Cisau in Akat district.
Based on the data recorded by the village chief, Kampung Wau Cisau is dwelled by 611 people, 136 families. There’s nothing surprising about the statistics until we found out that Kampung Wau Cisau was among the villages with the most victims during the measles and malnutrition outbreak in early January.
Yunus, the village chief of Kampung Wau Cisau, said that the measles outbreak in his village was quite terrible. From tens of children suffering from measles, five of them died. More terribly, two newborn infants also died from measles. To this day, the children suffering from measles are still being treated in the Community Health Clinic of Akat district.
“Many children here were infected by measles, around 28 children. 5 of them died, and the other 23 are still being treated in Akat Community Health Clinic,” said Yunus.
In Kampung Wau Cisau, 20 sacks of rice were given to the village chief. The handover of the rice was also done in the rumah bujang. Each village in Asmat has its own rumah bujang.
The measles outbreak is receding, but the it takes time for the recovery process. Humanitarian Ship visited Kampung Wau Cisau to distribute the food aid needed during the recovery process to improve the nutrition of the children of Asmat.
“I, on behalf of Wau Cisau villagers, thank ACT for their food aid. Hopefully, it will improve the nutrition the children in our village,” said Yunus.
The Humanitarian Ship will continue their journey. A hundred tons of rice has been temporarily stored in a storehouse near the harbor, managed by Asmat’s Department of Social Welfare. To make sure that the food donation reaches 224 villages and 23 districts in Asmat, ACT collaborates with Department of Social Walfare.
“Alhamdulillah, gradually, the donation trust of Humanitarian Ship for Papua is being distributed. In total, there are of 4.000 kilograms of rice, thousands of biscuits and mineral water that have been brought by ACT through the Humanitarian Ship to recover Asmat. They will be distributed evenly, collaborating with Asmat Department of Social Welfare,” said Syuhelmaidi Syukur, ACT’s Senior Vice President.