UN Special Rapporteur visits Indonesia - concerned about situation in West Papua

The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dainius Pūras, who visited Indonesia from March 22nd until April 3rd 2017, called on the Indonesian government to increase national budget allocations for health. "However," he said, "increased investments in healthcare only make sense if the system is efficient, transparent, accountable, and responsive to those who use it." He also expressed concern about the healthcare situation in West Papua.

Indonesia is on the right track to develop an equitable and sustainable healthcare system based on universal health coverage, said today the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dainius Pûras, at the end of his first official visit to the country. However, he warned, "ambitious goals can be reached only if challenges are addressed."

The expert pointed out that important barriers persist, in law and practice, for the realization of sexual and reproductive health rights, consequently women and other key populations are exposed to different forms of violence and discrimination.

SRWalihole smallIndonesia has a relatively low prevalence of HIV/AIDS but new infections are in the rise amongst certain key affected populations who still face stigma and discrimination, including in healthcare settings.

"I am concerned about the health status of ethnic Papuans, who are two times more likely to have HIV/AIDS than the rest of the population, and new infections are in the rise," he noted calling for special attention and efforts from all stakeholders to build trust amongst service providers and users, and enhance access to treatment and services in a culturally-sensitive manner.

The Special Rapporteur will present a comprehensive report on his visit to Indonesia to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2018.

Read more on the visit here

Photo: UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dainius Pūras (back row, third from left) visiting the church HIV clinic Walihole in Sentani, West Papua (Photo by Agnella Chingwaro)