HIV-AIDS still becomes a ‘scary ghost’ for Papua Province.
A data released by the Ministry of Health in March recorded that within 12 years (2005-2017) the number of people living with AIDS in Papua has reached 19,729. This number is the highest rate among other Indonesian provinces, while the total of AIDS cases in Indonesia is 102.667.
The second highest rate of AIDS occurred in East Java for 18,243, following by Jakarta at 9,215, Central Java at 8,170, Bali at 7,441 and West Java at 6,502. However, the data showed that Papua Province is at the third rank for the number of people living with the HIV (29,083) compared to Jakarta (51,981) and East Java (39,633). Following Papua in the fourth and fifth ranks are West Java and East Java with 28,964 and 22,292 cases respectively.
Given the fact that the number of population in Papua Province is lesser than the provinces of Jakarta, East Java and West Java, it makes Papua becoming the province with the highest case rate of AIDS in Indonesia until December 2017. The case rate is cumulative of the number of people living with, died from AIDS and the total number of HIV-AIDS cases per 1000,000 population.
The case rate for Papua Province is 620,56 which 18,149 people living with AIDS and 1,580 people died from AIDS during 1987-2017, whereas West Papua Province is in the second place; at 216,46 including 1,699 people living with AIDS and 42 died from AIDS.
The updated figure for HIV-AIDS cases per 30 September 2018 in Papua Province is 38,874. It shows that Nabire Regency has the highest HIV-AIDS cases (7,420) and it followed by Jayapura Municipality at 6,189, Jayawijaya Regency at 5,964, Mimika Regency at 5,670 and Jayapura Regency at 2,918.
Most cases occurred in Papua are due to sexual intercourse with several partners which reach 14,148 (HIV) and 23,610 (AIDS), whereas another factor is the Most cases or risk factors occurred in Papua due to sexual intercourse with several partners are 14,148 (HIV) and 23,610 (AIDS). Another factor is the transmission from mother to child that reaches 212 for HIV and 473 for AIDS.
Responding to this situation, the Chairman of AIDS Commission (KPA) of Papua Province Constant Karma told Jubi on Wednesday, 22 November 2018, that firstly people must fully understand about the transmission of HIV.
He said HIV is transmitted through blood, semen, vaginal fluids if we have direct contact with wounds on the skin or open mucous membranes of people who already infected, such as mouth, nose, vagina, rectum and penis’ external urethral.
“HIV can also be transmitted through vaginal, oral and anal sex, as well as contact with blood and other body fluids. But kissing can be safe if both partners have no sore or mouth sprue. Touching, hugging and normal interacting with people infected with HIV are also safe,” he said.
He recommends people to have safe sex by using a condom and avoiding touching blood or other people’s body fluids.
“We never know who has HIV, because there is no stereotype and perhaps people don’t realise that they are already infected. So avoid to have direct contact with blood and body fluids of other people because it might have risks for HIV transmission, especially if we have open sores on any part of our body,” he said.
Karma said that the high rate of HIV-AIDS in Papua was due to people are still reluctant to conduct examinations.
“This figure indicates that the rate of people who already entered the stage of AIDS. It becomes a problem because if they get at this stage, it will be difficult to recover their condition,” he said.
Karma also said that KPA still difficulties related to funds to reduce the number of people living with HIV-AIDS in Papua. “In the past, we have collaborated with some international NGOs but not anymore because Indonesia currently regarded as a developed country. Therefore these NGOs are paying more attention to other developing countries,” he said.
Moreover, he said KPA Papua’s funds are insufficient to cover all areas of Papua, especially the mountain areas.
AIDS prevalence has reduced since 2014
Head of the Technical Implementation Unit for AIDS, TB and Malaria, Papua Health Office, dr. Beery Wopari, said that since 2014 HIV and AIDS cases in Papua had decreased, although not too significant.
“In 2014 there were 4,452 new cases found in 29 regencies and municipality, but until 2018 there were 1,993 new cases detected or found,” he said. It means that most people are willing to conduct health examinations or do early detection of the disease, explained Wopari.
“Although it is undeniable that many people are still reluctant to conduct medical checks,” he said.
Wopari hopes that the elimination process carried out by Nabire Regency which has the highest HIV-AIDS rate can be emulated by other districts in Papua Province. Nabire District Health Office has carried out medical checks for people who come for treatment at the community centres.
“The number of people living with HIV and AIDS in Nabire is currently growing. There is a regulation that requires all community centres in Nabire to carry out the preliminary tests to all patients who come for treatment to reduce it. “It is good so that we can treat people who have been infected with HIV before the patient enters the stage of AIDS,” he said. (*)
Reporter: Roy Ratumakin
Editor: Pipit Maizier
The story of illegal logging from the forests of Papua
Jayapura, Jubi – Tempo journalist Avit Hidayat shared his experience in doing an investigation about the circulation of illegal timbers from Papua’s forest as a resource person for the discussion about “ Papua’s Forest and Logging Disputes”.
Auriga Nusantara, Eyes on the Forest, Tempo Institute, Free Press Unlimited, and Tempo Media Grup held this forum in Jakarta, Monday, 28 January 2019 and attended by other resource persons, such as Laode M. Syarif (KPK commissionaire), Rasio Ridho Sani (Gakkum-KLHK), Hilman Nugroho (PHPL-KLHK) Muhamad Kosar (JPIK), Timotius Murib (Majelis Rakyat Papua) and Papuan stakeholders from indigenous peoples, Papuan Parliament and Papua Provincial Forestry Office.
In the discussion, Avit said it is essential for the public to know about the situation in Papua. “The tropical forests in Papua are the last (forests) in Indonesia, while the Merbau wood which is the Papuan endemic trees have been becoming the target of the international market,” he said.
Furthermore, Avid said he conducted the investigation in many different places and interviewed many resource persons; and in Papua, the Tempo team went further to the logging sites. There, they witnessed how the workers who come from other regions carried out the illegal logging activity. They also met transporters, woodmasters, drivers, and logging company staffs.
“And the most important thing is we met the supplier. The supplier is a mediator of the logging companies who play a role to bargain with ‘ondo’—the tribal chief–for compensation. For example, if in a village there are common indigenous lands, the supplier comes to measuring the areas, and give payment to indigenous peoples.”
In their investigation, the Tempo team also met the owners of a logging company who later admitted about the illegal logging activity. However, they called it the unregistered community logging.
Meanwhile, in Aroba Sub-district of Teluk Bintuni, Papua Barat, the team went to the forest areas of the company who received the Business License for the Utilization of Natural Forest and Timber Product (IUPHHK-HA) that formerly known as a Forest Concession Permit (HPH). There, the team found the manipulation of a wood barcode. For instance, the barcode for ketapang wood is used for Merbau wood.
Moreover, the team also investigated the primary industry in Papua, Surabaya, Lumajang, Gresik by tracing the distribution of logs. Here, they found another finding, namely the fake transport data and officials’ involvement, whereas the illegal retribution practice has also become their another concern.
In their journey from Sarmi to Jayapura Municipality, the team discovered 25 retribution posts that consist of the indigenous institution, police (military) and Forestry Office. “This is the fact that we found, but I couldn’t capture it because it was too risky. We even witness a military truck used to transport the logs.”
Furthermore, the Tempo team met the export logging companies and found those companies able to export up to 6,000-meter cubic annually, while based on the Forest Product Information Management System (SIPUH), they only allowed to export around 100-meter cubic.
“In Surabaya, we went to a barge and talked with an officer. He said not all logs are given barcode. A few logging companies intentionally inserted non-barcode logs or illegal logs in there. They are mostly the HPH holders, and they even put the timbers between the logs.”
However, all these findings did not include in the audit industry report registered in the Timber Legality and Verification System Legality and Verification System (SVLK) which consist of the Assessment Agency for Sustainable Forest Production Management (LP-PHPL) and Timber Verification Agency (LV-LK). Both agencies are responsible for assessing the sustainable forest product management and verify the legality aspect of timber based on the system and standards set by the government.
“We also got the information about the involvement of LV-LK and LP-PHPL, which means they play around with such companies and culprits from the forestry office. I think the KPK has identified these cases.”
In the meantime, a resource person from the National Accreditation Committee (KAN) acknowledged that there were bribery practices in the LV-LK. The audit report had often finished before the field assessment.
Meanwhile, the participants appreciated the findings of Tempo’s investigation. They expected the government to find a solution immediately, whether it’s a regulation or supervision and law enforcement.
On the other hand, a representative of LV-LK objected this report regarding the bribery practices in his institution. But Avit said until now none of the resource persons withdrew their statements and opposed the result of the team’s investigation.
Meanwhile, Agung Wijaya, Avit’s editor for this covered story, said he was worried about Avit’s safety during the investigation. But finally, this report was completed and published.
He further said Tempo had traced the case of illegal logging since 2017. Thus, publishing the investigation report becomes a moral burden for Tempo. Therefore Tempo will continue to monitor this issue and welcome other stakeholders who attended this forum for further discussion.
“Through this coverage, Tempo attempted to look the case thoroughly even though it might not give a solution because the solution is actually in the hand of all of you (who come to this forum).” (*)
Reporter: Timoteus Marten
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Indonesian military to complete Trans-Papua Highway
Papua, Jubi – Officials working on a troubled road project in Papua say Indonesia’s military will complete the job this year.
In December, at least 16 Indonesians working on the Trans-Papua Highway in Nduga province were massacred by fighters from the West Papua Liberation Army.
The project was put on hold with the military saying it would take over work on the 4000 kilometre highway.
Combat engineers will reportedly carry out the construction, with hundreds of extra security personnel deployed to the area.
Detik News reports a military battalion has been assigned to the building of the project’s remaining 16 bridges.
Indonesian army engineers had already been working on the Trans-Papua Highway project for a number of years.
Military involvement in the project was cited by the Liberation Army as a central reason for killing the road workers, who were suspected of being soldiers. (*)
Indonesian soldier dead after attack at Papua airport
Papua, Jubi – Indonesia’s military has evacuated the body of a soldier killed at an airport in Papua’s Highlands on Monday.
Xinhua reported that gunmen shot at an arriving aircraft carrying soldiers at Mapenduma airport of Nduga district, leaving one soldier dead.
Military spokesman Colonel Muhammad Aidi said when the plane was about to land, it was shot at, and soldiers who were guarding the airport shot back, triggering gunfire exchange.
He said the gunmen retreated and escaped to the forest and the plane landed.
Tempo reported that two soldiers were shot, and hospitalised, with one dying later.
The soldier’s body has been evacuated to Papua’s provincial capital Jayapura,
He is the latest apparent victim in the Highlands conflict between guerilla forces of the West Papua Liberation Army and Indonesian security forces that intensified last year. (*)
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