Subject: NTT X ­ Condition of babies cause for concern

NTT Ekspres

Tuesday, 7 Nov. 2000

NTT X ­ "Condition of babies cause for concern"

ATAMBUA ­ The condition of babies of E. Timor refugee from Ermera and Dili now in refugee sites in Atambua is cause for concern. On Monday (6/11) two babies were in the Atambua hospital and tens of others in poor condition were still in the camps. In the past two days, two babies have died in refugee sites in Atambua due to lack of food and health services. Despite a letter from the PMP Task Force to Belu Regent Bere to immediately involve relevant agencies in the region in the development of health care for refugees, the Belu Disaster Relief Coordinating Body hasn't yet done much. Sister Sisilia of the East Indonesian Women's Health Network responded to the problem when she and Mrs. Sri Bayu, wife of PMP Task Force Head, Basyruddin, carried sick babies to the Atambua hospital. Prior to this, Sister Sisilia had reported to the PMP Task Force that a number of refugees in Atambua were suffering from various chronic diseases such as coughing up blood and needed help immediately. The Task Force responded by involving the Belu Disaster Relief agency, but until now no efforts to respond have been made by the Belu government. "There are a lot of refugee babies whose health condition is cause for great concern and if this is allowed to continue, then for sure there will be a continuing impact, what more these babies aren't being cared for well," said Sister Sisilia.

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