Indonesia: Health Messenger - Water, Hygiene and Sanitation Issue 11, Jun 2009


Water, Hygiene and Sanitation

Every 8 seconds a child dies because of contaminated water; there are more than 25 pathologies related to contaminated water, etc. These data are frightening but this is a sad reality. Water is a basic and vital need but access to drinkable water is still a global issue. At least 2,6 billion people do not have access to running water. Most of them do not even have toilets and have to defecate in open air, thus, contaminating rivers, air and sewer systems. This is probably the cause of high morbidity and mortality rates. In spite of its economic development, Indonesia is still one of these developing countries where Water, Hygiene and Sanitation need to be improved. The reconstruction of the Aceh province after the Tsunami led to a sharp improvement. But many things remain to be done. Waterborne diseases are commonly detected in the puskesmas, too many children are suffering diarrhea which is a life threatening disease for a child vulnerable organism. And what about Malaria, typhoid, etc?

People have to learn about the basic preventive measures. Children must know that hands as well as teeth should be cleaned with soap and toothpaste. Many diseases could be prevented this way. This is a matter of education. For this HM 11 dedicated to Water, Hygiene and Sanitation, we underline the key role of health workers in transmitting and sharing information about hygiene and we highlight some of the numerous tools that exist like the Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices. More than a medical magazine, the information published in this issue should be shared between all citizens. But we truly believe that you, readers, health workers, are the link with the community. So lets read, learn and share the knowledge!

Anne Broggi


Swine Influenza, a new threat in Indonesia

Arecent research by University of Kobe, Japan, found that Indonesian porks are likely to transmit a new type of influenza to human beings, much more dangerous than the one which is raging in Mexico. They performed a research on more than 400 pigs in 4 States in Indonesia and found out that more than 50 pigs carried the virus. As pork can carry avian virus as well as human virus, they fear that H5N1 transform itself into a new form of swine virus that could be transmitted to human beings called H1N1.

In Indonesia, swine breeding and trading are under sanitary surveillance. The Ministry of Health declared the Government will slaughter pigs infected with the virus H1N1. No case has been detected so far.