Malaria in­fects 137 in In­done­sia’s WLom­bok is­land

Manila Times - - World -

MATARAM, In­done­sia: A malaria out­break has in­fected at least 137 peo­ple in In­done­sia’s West Lom­bok af­ter the is­land was rocked by a se­ries of earth­quakes in re­cent months, an of­fi­cial said on Sun­day.

The quakes and af­ter­shocks since July have killed about 500 peo­ple and forced hun­dreds of thou­sands into evac­u­a­tion shel­ters or tents.

As a re­sult the num­ber of malaria cases is twice as high as in the same pe­riod last year, prompt­ing the West Lom­bok gov­ern­ment to de­clare a health emer­gency.

Among the 137 in­fected are ba­bies and preg­nant women.

The gov­ern­ment has taken steps to pre­vent the dis­ease from spread­ing such as tak­ing blood sam­ples, dis­tribut­ing mosquito nets and fog­ging.

Amaq Aniyah, 65, was di­ag­nosed with malaria af­ter feel­ing un­well for a week.

His house was de­stroyed by a 6.9 mag­ni­tude quake in early Au­gust and since then he has been liv­ing in a tent. Paramedics have given him a mosquito net.

“Ide­ally we should give mosquito nets to ev­ery­one, but be­cause we only have a few, we have to be se­lec­tive,” said para­medic Far­lin, who like many In­done­sians goes by one name.

The head of West Lom­bok re­gency, Fauzan Halid, told AFP they only have 3,000 mosquito nets but need about 10,000.

Dec­la­ra­tion of a health emer­gency will al­low West Lom­bok to seek 3.4 bil­lion ru­piah ($230,000) in aid from the pro­vin­cial and cen­tral gov­ern­ment to tackle the cri­sis.

In­done­sia’s rainy season is ex­pected to start next month, rais­ing fears malaria- car­ry­ing mos­qui­tos could breed in stag­nant wa­ter.

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