Protect Children From Death Due to Preventable Disease

Target: Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia

Goal: Honor a promise to fight for the health and future of Indonesia’s disadvantaged citizens.

In 2015, the president of Indonesia made a strong pledge of quality healthcare for indigenous citizens of his country. Nearly three years later, 100 children were laid to rest in Papua: victims of a preventable measles outbreak. This latest tragedy comes in the wake of a rare visit from a United Nations official to the region. Upon departing Papua, this official expressed deep concerns about the health of the province’s ethnic communities. This warning was issued last April, and in the meantime the Indonesian government has done nothing to reverse damaging policies that could cost more ethnic Papuans their lives.

Papua stands as Indonesia’s largest province, a land rich in both people and resources. While the government benefits from these natural resources and is investing more in infrastructure, they make virtually no investment in the well-being of the people populating this region. The province has autonomy status within the government, so it relies heavily on special autonomy funds that are provided in order to aid its indigenous populations. These funds often run low, however, leading to drastic shortages in physicians and basic essential medical supplies.

Worse yet, the aid that these citizens should be receiving from within cannot even be obtained from outside international agencies. Because of political concerns about potential rebellion, the number of foreign individuals who can even visit the region is severely limited, essentially strangling foreign aid efforts. Meanwhile, the nation-leading low life expectancy found in Papua runs in stark correlation with the high infant and child mortality rate: a rate that spiked its numbers recently with 100 innocent children. Even this latest tragedy might have been avoided if the children were included in Indonesia’s nationwide vaccination program.

Rather than take responsibility, as the president once vowed to do, the Indonesian government essentially blames the victims by focusing on the nomadic existence of ethnic Papuans. Sign this petition today and demand accountability from the Indonesian government. Demand the president fulfill a promise he made to the people of Papua and to future generations.


Dear President Widodo,

Three years ago, you reached out to Indonesians in desperate need. You recognized that the people of Papua — citizens of a land that contributes so much to Indonesia’s past, present, and future — had a fundamental right to good health. Yet day by day, the future of these citizens erodes a little more. One hundred members of your country recently lost their lives, and their promise will never be realized.

Please ensure that the tragedy ends now, usurped by triumph. On a large scope, your government could make vaccinations readily available to Papua’s children. If this incremental step could have saved the life of even one child during the recent measles outbreak, then the investment would have been paid in full. Similarly, all of your citizens deserve the same access to aid. Yet you essentially ban international assistance for a region that carries the unfortunate titles of lowest life expectancy and highest infant mortality rate. Do not allow politics to restrict ‘independent foreign observers’ who can become proactive allies in the fight for your peoples’ well-being.

This is a fight that must be won on every level. The Papuan people may live a nomadic life and they may value tradition, but they will always stand united with all their fellow citizens in the desire for health, happiness, and the hope for a brighter future for their children.

Help them realize their dream. Invest in Papua. Invest in your future.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Mark Knobil

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  2. GEN AGUSTSSON says:


  3. More money on health, lesser on military!

  4. Vaccines may hurt and not help. Kids who die usually had the vaccine. I had measles…no problem. Sunlight helps the immune system and 2000mg of fish oil/Vit C. Natural help only may help.

  5. Richard Hofman Richard Hofman says:

    Hey guys, did you know that the Indonesian shits occupy this poor country for decades against all of the human laws?
    They are killing West Papuan people,plunder their own country and always saying the land belong to them instead of the West Papuans.

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