PAPUA EPIDEMIC CLAIMS 100 CHILDREN

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 16) – A church leader in the Indonesian province of Papua says nearly 100 children have died from treatable infections within the past two months.

Reverend John Cutts says 97 babies have died in the remote Paniai area over the past two months.

They were suffering from dehydration, fevers, diarrhea and vomiting, he says.

Hundreds of other villagers in the area are still sick, and a team of doctors from the American-owned Freeport mine has been dispatched.

The ailment has not yet been identified, but outbreaks of dysentery, malaria and dengue fever are common in the region, which has few doctors.

December 17, 2004

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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