Health Ministry Investigates 6 Deaths in Papua Allegedly of Starvation, Diarrhea

Berita265 Dilihat, Jakarta – Indonesia’s Health Ministry is investigating the cause of death of six Central Papuans reportedly from starvation and acute diarrhea. According to Deputy Minister of Health, Dante Saksono, diarrhea should not have caused hunger.

“No. [Diarrhea] is caused by eating errors. Starvation is not caused by diarrhea,” Dante said at the State Palace area, Central Jakarta on Wednesday, August 2.

Dante said he would periodically update this case on the Ministry of Health’s social media page. The results of the investigation, said Dante, will also be announced there.

At the same location, Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo said this department has also launched an investigation to find out why the six people died. He said that he received information that the deceased had vomited up to 20 times, as well as suffering from diarrhea and dehydration.

To prevent hunger, Syahrul said his ministry will provide 10,000 polybags of food crops for residents to plant, harvest and consume. However, he said that the six people did not die from starvation. “[Reporters] can check and see that [the cause of death] was not hunger, but gastroenteritis,” Syahrul said.

Food Assistance to Quell Starvation Rumor

Meanwhile, Minister of Social Affairs Tri Rismaharini said she will provide direct assistance in the form of food to the people in Agandugume District and Lambewi District, Puncak Regency, Central Papua. Food aid is given to prevent suspicions and rumors that it was hunger that caused the six Papuans’ deaths.

Risma said that the assistance has been delivered smoothly through five shipments. The food aid includes thousands of ready-to-eat meal packages, children’s meals, as well as canned food and biscuits, among others. 

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