Nabire, Jubi – A total of 15 children under five years old in Timeepa, North Mapia District, Dogiyai Regency, Central Papua, reportedly died of measles. Measles is a serious viral infection for young children, but is easily preventable with vaccines. The disease is spread through the air via breathing as the virus is airborne from coughing or sneezing.
Christ the Redeemer Timeepa Parish' Father Yeskiel Belau told Jubi in a phone call that five toddlers were only recorded in the parish.
"A total of 15 toddlers who died of measles are Sesilia Wakei (1.5), Marius Wakei (4), Fransiskus Kotouki (5), Yohanes Petege (5), Edoardus Magai (4), Yanuaria Wakei (2), Yuliana Wakei aged (4), Magdalena Wakei (2), Yanuarius Wakei (2). Francis Tebai (4), Vitalia Kotouki (5), Yenoaria Wakei (2.5), Yohanes Kotouki (2), Marius Wakei (3), and Emanuel Tigi (2)," he said on Sunday.
He estimated that the number could increase because there are other areas that have not been checked.
"Above is the data on children who died from the Timeepa Parish center. In the parish center there are five community bases. The 15 children who died are only from these five community bases. It does not include Toubai, Degadai, Megai Dua, Abaugi, and Dioudimi Stations. If added, the number would be overwhelming," he said.
According to him, the data obtained by his office stated that 83 children in his service area suffered from measles and 15 of them died.
"So the official data that we recorded is that 49 cases of measles occurred in Timeepa, 15 cases in Stasi Degadai, 10 cases in Stasi Ponaige, and nine cases in the Deneiode Parish Quasi," he said.
He said that his party immediately administered medicines to targeted babies.
"We have carried out vaccination for babies and children. In my service area there are only four villages and we have done it," said Yoki Butu when confirmed separately.
Yoki Butu said that his office was providing services after the Measles and Rubella (MR) Vaccine was handed over by the Dogiyai Acting Regent, Petrus Agapa, tto prevent measles in Dogiyai District.
"We have carried out vaccination coverage, in my service area there are only four villages and we have done that," said Yoki Butu when confirmed separately.
For the death of 15 toddlers, Yoki emphasized that measles cases are not only in the Dogiyai region, but are currently the concern of all parties because it has become an Extraordinary Event (KLB) in Central Papua Province.
"So let us join hands to break the chain of transmission," he said. Petrus Agapa also advised that when giving the MR vaccine, vitamin A and additional food should also be provided. (*)