In Peru, anemia in children under 5 years of age is widespread, impacting intellectual and cognitive development. Cerro Verde’s comprehensive nutrition program aims to help reduce the anemia rate and increase nutrition education in our neighboring communities. In the Uchumayo district, we provide equipment, screenings, supplements and education in coordination with the health centers and schools. Through 2019, 55% of children under the age of 5 years in our direct area of influence– the districts of Uchumayo, Yarabamba, Tiabaya, La Joya and Matarani Port – have been screened and to date we have seen a 9% reduction in childhood anemia rates.
We also have trained over 80 public schools in the area of influence through our healthy lunchbox project, which promotes healthy eating habits in the educational community. In coordination with Peru’s National School Food Program “Qali Warma”, we support equipping kitchens and school canteens along with educating mothers and food preparation committees on proper nutrition.
PT-FI works closely with the local Mimika government to support the provision of health services in the region through capacity building, construction of clinics and malaria control programs. With the goal of achieving greater independency and sustainability of public health care, PT-FI is working to hand over PT-FI-run public health infrastructure, services and best practices to the local Mimika government.
Malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) remain the most common infectious diseases that not only afflict our neighboring communities but also our workforce and their dependents. Non-communicable diseases, principally cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, cancers and chronic respiratory diseases , are increasingly prevalent in our local communities. A combination of poor lifestyle (habitual risk factors including high, unbalanced nutritional intake, lack of exercise, smoking, etc.) together with a general increase in life spans due to factors contributing to better standards of living (e.g., employment opportunities, better housing and transportation, access to health care) has directly or indirectly contributed to an increase in chronic metabolic diseases and the likelihood of developing age-related aliments.
In coordination with the local government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the PT-FI Community Health Development department, assisted by the company’s medical services provider, International SOS, implements programs for education, prevention, counseling, diagnosis and treatment of diseases within and around the project area. This includes a comprehensive public health program addressing malaria, HIV/AIDS, TB, mother and child health, and clean water. PT-FI also provides significant funding for health activities via the Partnership Fund.
Papua province in general, and Mimika Regency where PT-FI operates, have the highest malaria prevalence rates in Indonesia. In almost every local community within our project area, malaria infection is the single greatest cause of morbidity and hospitalization. Coping with rapid population in-migration and growth is one of the biggest challenges for reducing the incidence of malaria in Mimika. Although declining, the health risks to PT-FI’s workforce and surrounding local communities remains a concern. In response, PT-FI continues to implement its integrated malaria control program focused specifically in the more urbanized areas of Timika.
Since 2013, PT-FI, the Amungme and Kamoro Community Development Organization (LPMAK) and the local government jointly have operated the Mimika Malaria Center and its Timika Malaria Control Program (TMCP). TMCP coordinates all malaria prevention activities, such as indoor residual spraying of insecticides in homes, and bed net distribution among the PT-FI workforce, their families and local communities. TMCP activities have resulted in reduced malaria incidence through significant expansion of coverage, improved coordination, surveillance and reporting of malaria data. In 2019, approximately 33,600 people in local communities were reached through malaria health promotion events. In addition, the malaria incident rate within the workforce stood at 89 per 1,000 people – a slight increase from 2018. The number of detected cases of malaria at participating community clinics increased to 6,800 in 2019 and about 5,300 cases were effectively treated. As multi-drug resistance in malaria parasites is a significant challenge in Papua, detected malaria cases are effectively treated with artemisinin.
HIV/AIDS prevalence in Papua and Mimika Regency is predominately characterized by heterosexual transmission, with the greatest impact being on the indigenous Papuan population. PT-FI continues to implement its HIV/AIDS prevention, outreach and treatment programs for its workforce and community members in collaboration with the local government health services. Results during 2019 were encouraging, with HIV/AIDS incidence in the workplace falling to 1.3 cases per 1,000 – a 23% decrease over 2018– and the number of new, detected cases falling 27% compared to 2018. Over 11,000 employees participated in HIV/AIDS-themed educational programs in 2019, and PT-PI’s education and outreach activities reached in excess of 1,000 community members.
PT-FI continuously improves its HIV/AIDS Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) service performance. In 2019, over 25,000 PT-FI employees participated in VCT. Due to efforts to increase VCT uptake. Participants in VCT are being diagnosed with HIV cases at an early stage, before AIDS-related complications arise. Antiretroviral therapy is provided free of charge by the Indonesian government to HIV positive cases among PT-FI’s workforce as well as among community members. Early diagnosis provides individuals an opportunity to receive proper treatment that leads to better health as well as helps prevent HIV transmission to others.
PT-FI also provides confidential HIV/AIDS VCT services for community members at all three PT-FI-supported community clinics as well as at the Sexual Health and HIV Clinic in Timika operated by PT-FI in partnership with the local government and the LPMAK. In 2019, PT-FI provided VCT to more than 1,600 individuals from local communities.
The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks Indonesia, including Papua, as having the second largest number of TB cases in the world. PT-FI continues to implement its comprehensive TB program for both its workforce and surrounding communities. In 2019, PT-FI continued its intensive TB outreach efforts in response to high-prevalence rates in Mimika Regency. The company organized one-on-one and group sessions that reached more than 1,100 community members in 2019. Through active case detection, PT-FI staff reached out to approximately 400 individuals who were in close contact with TB patients in the community, providing them with testing and educational information. TB outreach events, such as World TB Day, reached approximately 4,800 community members and over 11,000 PT-FI workforce members.
The PT-FI TB Clinic located in Timika, which is operated in collaboration with the local government and the LPMAK, follows the WHO’s recommended Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTs) approach for active case detection and treatment of new TB cases. Among the 1,235 people tested through PT-FI’s TB program in 2019,128 new TB cases were detected in the community and 87 new TB cases were detected in the PT-FI workforce.
LPMAK Funded Health Programs
Located in the lowland town of Timika, the Mitra Masyarakat hospital (RSMM) is PT-FI’s flagship health initiative funded through the Partnership Fund. The hospital has significant positive impacts on our neighboring communities by addressing these diseases. The hospital also provides Papua’s indigenous populations – the Amungme and Kamoro as well as the five neighboring ethnic groups – Dani, Damal, Nduga, Mee and Moni (collectively known as the “seven suku”) – with free, high-quality health care, including surgical procedures.
PT-FI and the RSMM continued focus on their contractual agreement to align future operational budgets with Indonesia’s national health insurance scheme and hospital unit-cost tariffs. In addition, the RSMM’s information system was upgraded, and a new referral clinic was constructed in response to the review and restructuring.
Since 2016, LPMAK has financed a floating medical clinic program to provide remote coastal communities with basic health services. The villages served by the floating clinic are located east of the project area and only accessible by river. The program enhances the level of care available through government-funded primary health-care centers by offering more complete diagnostic equipment and drug/non-drug services to assess and treat patients. The floating clinic is equipped with a patient treatment room, an operation room for minor injuries and several other health-supporting facilities. Services provided through the clinic complement those of the health-care centers and other locally-based health organizations. Since 2016, the floating clinic has provided medical services and guidance to approximately 10,000 people in five districts. In 2019, 7,000 people received general medical treatment.
LPMAK’s contribution to community health-care programs also included an investment over three years (June 2016-December 2019) of approximately $2.5 million toward a Healthy Villages Program. This program for 28 Highland and Lowlands villages focuses on mother and child health, TB, HIV/AIDS, malaria, sanitation, and hygiene.
Together, PT-FI and LPMAK’s community health-care programs support our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing). Many of the programs also support SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).
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