(Subjects: Religion/Worship, Lightworkers, Food, Health, Prescription Drugs, Homeopathy, Innate (Body intelligence), New Age movement, Global Unity, ... etc.) - (Text version)

“…… Should I use Doctors and Drugs to Heal Me or Spiritual Methods?

"Dear Kryon, I have heard that you should stay natural and not use the science on the planet for healing. It does not honor God to go to a doctor. After all, don't you say that we can heal with our minds? So why should we ever go to a doctor if we can do it ourselves? Not only that, my doctor isn't enlightened, so he has no idea about my innate or my spiritual body needs. What should I do?"

First, Human Being, why do you wish to put so many things in boxes? You continue to want a yes and no answer for complex situations due to your 3D, linear outlook on almost everything. Learn to think out of the 3D box! Look at the heading of this section [above]. It asks which one should you do. It already assumes you can't do both because they seem dichotomous.

Let's use some spiritual logic: Here is a hypothetical answer, "Don't go to a doctor, for you can heal everything with your mind." So now I will ask: How many of you can do that in this room right now? How many readers can do that with efficiency right now? All of you are old souls, but are you really ready to do that? Do you know how? Do you have really good results with it? Can you rid disease and chemical imbalance with your mind right now?

I'm going to give you a truth, whether you choose to see it or not. You're not ready for that! You are not yet prepared to take on the task of full healing using your spiritual tools. Lemurians could do that, because Pleiadians taught them how! It's one of the promises of God, that there'll come a day when your DNA works that efficiently and you will be able to walk away from drug chemistry and the medical industry forever, for you'll have the creator's energy working at 100 percent, something you saw within the great masters who walked the earth.

This will be possible within the ascended earth that you are looking forward to, dear one. Have you seen the news lately? Look out the window. Is that where you are now? We are telling you that the energy is going in that direction, but you are not there yet.

Let those who feel that they can heal themselves begin the process of learning how. Many will be appreciative of the fact that you have some of the gifts for this now. Let the process begin, but don't think for a moment that you have arrived at a place where every health issue can be healed with your own power. You are students of a grand process that eventually will be yours if you wish to begin the quantum process of talking to your cells. Some will be good at this, and some will just be planting the seeds of it.

Now, I would like to tell you how Spirit works and the potentials of what's going to happen in the next few years. We're going to give the doctors of the planet new inventions and new science. These will be major discoveries about the Human body and of the quantum attributes therein.

Look at what has already happened, for some of this science has already been given to you and you are actually using it. Imagine a science that would allow the heart to be transplanted because the one you have is failing. Of course! It's an operation done many times a month on this planet. That information came from the creator, did you realize that? It didn't drop off the shelf of some dark energy library to be used in evil ways.

So, if you need a new heart, Lightworker, should you go to the doctor or create one with your mind? Until you feel comfortable that you can replace your heart with a new one by yourself, then you might consider using the God-given information that is in the hands of the surgeon. For it will save your life, and create a situation where you stay and continue to send your light to the earth! Do you see what we're saying?

You can also alter that which is medicine [drugs] and begin a process that is spectacular in its design, but not very 3D. I challenge you to begin to use what I would call the homeopathic principle with major drugs. If some of you are taking major drugs in order to alter your chemistry so that you can live better and longer, you might feel you have no choice. "Well, this is keeping me alive," you might say. "I don't yet have the ability to do this with my consciousness, so I take the drugs."

In this new energy, there is something else that you can try if you are in this category. Do the following with safety, intelligence, common sense and logic. Here is the challenge: The principle of homeopathy is that an almost invisible tincture of a substance is ingested and is seen by your innate. Innate "sees" what you are trying to do and then adjusts the body's chemistry in response. Therefore, you might say that you are sending the body a "signal for balance." The actual tincture is not large enough to affect anything chemically - yet it works!

The body [innate] sees what you're trying to do and then cooperates. In a sense, you might say the body is healing itself because you were able to give it instructions through the homeopathic substance of what to do. So, why not do it with a major drug? Start reducing the dosage and start talking to your cells, and see what happens. If you're not successful, then stop the reduction. However, to your own amazement, you may often be successful over time.

You might be able to take the dosage that you're used to and cut it to at least a quarter of what it was. It is the homeopathy principle and it allows you to keep the purpose of the drug, but reduce it to a fraction of a common 3D dosage. You're still taking it internally, but now it's also signaling in addition to working chemically. The signal is sent, the body cooperates, and you reduce the chance of side effects.

You can't put things in boxes of yes or no when it comes to the grand system of Spirit. You can instead use spiritual logic and see the things that God has given you on the planet within the inventions and processes. Have an operation, save your life, and stand and say, "Thank you, God, for this and for my being born where these things are possible." It's a complicated subject, is it not? Each of you is so different! You'll know what to do, dear one. Never stress over that decision, because your innate will tell you what is appropriate for you if you're willing to listen. ….”

Monsanto / GMO - Global Health

(Subjects: Big pharma [the drug companies of America] are going to have to change very soon or collapse. When you have an industry that keeps people sick for money, it cannot survive in the new consciousness., Global Unity, ... etc.) - (Text version)
"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Lose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Pedal wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)
"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)
"THE BRIDGE OF SWORDS" – Sep 29, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: ... I'm in Canada and I know it, but I will tell those listening and reading in the American audience the following: Get ready! Because there are some institutions that are yet to fall, ones that don't have integrity and that could never be helped with a bail out. Again, we tell you the biggest one is big pharma, and we told you that before. It's inevitable. If not now, then in a decade. It's inevitable and they will fight to stay alive and they will not be crossing the bridge. For on the other side of the bridge is a new way, not just for medicine but for care. ....) - (Text Version)

Pharmaceutical Fraud / Corruption cases

Health Care

Health Care
Happy birthday to Percy Julian, a pioneer in plant-drug synthesis. His research produced steroids like cortisone. (11 April 2014)
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Friday, November 30, 2007

500 medical staff provided for UNFCC

DENPASAR (The Jakarta Post): As many as 500 doctors and paramedics will be ready to provide medical services to delegates of the United Nations Frameworks Convention for Climate Change (UNFCC) conference here next week.

Dr. Kuning Atmadjaya, coordinator of the medical team, was quoted by Radar Bali as saying there would be four areas focussed on. The first would be the venue of the conference; Westin Resort in Nusa Dua.

"We will provide a number of specialists including internists, cardiologists, surgeons and professional paramedics," Dr. Atmadjaya said.

"The medical team from Bali will also have the support of doctors and specialists from Jakarta and other cities. The second service area will cover the Nusa Dua resort complex, where we will set up a fully equipped field hospital," he added.

The third area will be in Kuta.

"We will establish a medical post at the Kuta Community Health Center," the doctor said.

The fourth area of service will be a mobile hospital. "Our medical team will accompany delegates visiting certain areas in Bali," he said, adding 39 ambulances had been prepared to support the mobile hospital. -- JP

Hospital opens sleep disorder center

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Persahabatan Hospital in Rawamangun, East Jakarta, recently opened a specialized center to treat people suffering from sleep disorders.

Declaring itself Indonesia's first center for sleep disorder treatment, the center offers a "comprehensive" range of diagnoses and treatments.

Center coordinator Budhi Antariksa said it was in response to the needs of patients that Persahabatan Hospital, which is the national reference center for respiratory problems, established the sleep center, which officially opened earlier this month.

"Indonesia doesn't have any data regarding the number of people suffering from sleep disorders, but the country accounts for around 50 percent of the total number of sleep disorder patients at some hospitals in Singapore and Malaysia. So, why not build our own sleep center here?" Budhi said recently.

He said the establishment of the center was aimed at not only providing medical care to the community, but also at developing medical education in the country, with Persahabatan Hospital's close links to the University of Indonesia's School of Medicine.

Each patient treated at the sleep center, according to Budhi, will first have an interview where they will be asked to list all sleep-related complaints they may have.

The results of the interview will determine whether a patient needs to undergo a polysomnogram, a special test commonly used to diagnose sleep disorders.

According to hospital officials, the sleep center features a team of doctors from a variety of disciplines, including two pulmonologists; two ear, nose and throat specialists (ENTs); a cardiologist; a neurologist; a pediatrician; and a psychiatrist.

"If the problem is caused by obstruction of the airway, the patient will be handed over to pulmonologists or ENTs. If it is related to a neurological disorder, he/she will be sent to neurologists, and so on," Budhi said.

The sleep center's polysomnograph machine is able to monitor different body functions during sleep, including brain and eye movement, muscle activity, heart rhythm and respiratory efforts.

The gathered data can then be used to diagnose different types of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea (the obstruction of the airway during sleep, causing loud snoring and sudden awakenings when breathing stops); narcolepsy (the condition of falling asleep spontaneously and unwillingly at inappropriate times); restless legs syndrome (an irresistible urge to move legs); REM behavior disorder (acting out violent or dramatic dreams while in REM sleep); and parasomnias (include a variety of disruptive sleep-related events).

Budhi said Persahabatan Hospital has had its polysomnograph since the end of 2005, and has so far treated about 35 patients with the machine.

Two other hospitals in the city have polysomnographs. They are Mitra Keluarga Hospital in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, and Medistra Hospital on Jl. Gatot Subroto in South Jakarta.

"But we're the only one that has a team of specialists from multiple disciplines. That's why I can say we're the only sleep disorder treatment center in Indonesia," said Budhi.

To learn more about the services at Persahabatan Hospital's sleep center, you can dial 4891708, ext. 209/296. Or you can come to the Griya Puspa building at the Persahabatan Hospital complex. (wda)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Campaign educates students on bird flu

Indra Harsaputra, The Jakarta Post, Mojokerto

The National Committee for Avian Influenza and Pandemic Preparedness (Komnas FBPI) and the United Nations Children's Education Fund are conducting a national campaign aimed at educating students on bird flu and ways to prevent it.

The anti-bird flu drive was launched Tuesday at Kebonagung state elementary school in Puri district, Mojokerto, East Java. It is the first school in the country to include introductory exercises and information on the spread of the disease in its curriculum.

The campaign organizers showed students a 7-minute animated public promotion film called "Bajuri's Family Prepare for Bird Flu", which is to be broadcast nation-wide in the near future.

The film's characters are based on the cast of the popular TV's series "Bajaj Bajuri."

Ahmad Kholik, a teacher from the school, quizzed the students after the film's screening.

"How many of you have poultry at home?" Ahmad asked the students.

Of the 30 students in the classroom, eight raised their hands, saying they had between three to 11 caged birds or chickens in their backyards.

"What can you do to avoid bird flu infection?"

"Wash our hands with soap so the germs will die," answered one student.

Alif Nurahlina, 11, said teachers gave bird flu awareness lessons during science class once a week. The teachers often asked the students to complete assignments, which included collecting information on bird flu from newspapers and the Internet.

"There are no poultry at my house, however, my neighbors raise chickens which should be caged, but they roam freely around the house. I want to remind them but I'm afraid they will scold me instead," Alif told The Jakarta Post.

Ayu Novisia, 12, said she was aware of the bird flu virus. She was confident she would attain a high grade when she sat her school test on bird flu.

"My friends in other schools do not know much about bird flu because their schools have not yet provided them with bird flu lessons.

"Another obstacle is the high cost of Internet access to obtain bird flu information. Our parents give us Rp 500 (5 U.S. cents) to Rp 1,000 for pocket money, which is not enough to buy newspapers or surf the Internet. We have to save money first," Ayu said.

A number of studies show that most rural communities only obtain information from the radio and television because they cannot afford to buy newspapers, let alone Internet access.

Chairman of Komnas FBPI, Bayu Krisnamurthi, said his team would carry out the anti-bird flu program in 47,500 schools across the country, providing them with bird flu lesson packages known as the Bird Flu Awareness students' kits.

"Children play a crucial role in disseminating information about bird flu to their family members, thus we hope people would become more aware of bird flu.

"Around 40 percent of bird flu victims are children. With this campaign, we hope children can protect themselves (from the disease)," Bayu said.

Mojokerto Education Office head Akmad Jazuli said his office had urged every school in the regency to include bird flu material in the school curriculum.

"We will continue to train teachers so they can provide clear information on the bird flu virus to their students," Akmad said.

Bird flu has claimed the lives of 91 of the 113 patients infected with the H5N1 virus in the country.

Islamic leaders take up HIV fight

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Islamic leaders in Jakarta on Tuesday agreed to spread faith-based HIV/AIDS prevention information through their sermons.

Gathering in the Jakarta Islamic Center in Kramat Raya, North Jakarta, some 400 religious leaders said they would incorporate into their sermons topics including the advantages and disadvantages of condoms, harm reduction in fighting drug abuse and the importance of faith in preventing HIV contraction.

The forum was held ahead of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.

According to Dadi Parmadi Supatra, head of Jakarta's Family Planning Coordination Body, the event was the first of several and part of a faith-based campaign organized by his team and the Communication Forum for Sermon Institutions (FKLD), which will also hold more meetings with leaders from other religions.

"We hope the meeting will have a snowball effect where more and more preachers will send the message of HIV prevention, whether it is at Friday prayers or wherever," he said, adding that the main target of the campaign was Muslims.

FKLD head Nandi Rahman said preachers were important to spreading cultural changes.

"People will listen to teachings passed to us by the Koran, because the prophets have already predicted these types of curses. This is a judgment from above ... so we have to fight and return the lost moral values," he said.

With a huge number of injecting drug users, Jakarta has the highest number of HIV/AIDS cases in the country, 30 percent of the total number.

Drug users sharing needles is the main way HIV/AIDS is spread in the capital, along with many other provinces, Hariadi Wisnuwardana from the Health Ministry said Tuesday.

He was among the speakers at a separate forum held to welcome World AIDS Day at the Dharmais Cancer Hospital in Slipi, West Jakarta.

Around 150 representatives of NGOs, hospitals, public health centers, and individuals attended the seminar, which showcased this year's AIDS day theme, promoting leadership.

National AIDS Prevention Commission secretary Nafsiah Mboi said that the commission had set a three-year target starting this year for patients to have access to antiretroviral therapy to help them improve their immune systems.

"We also hope that people help the patients by giving them continuous support," she said.

Data from the Health Ministry has recorded 10,384 AIDS cases and 5,904 HIV cases with 2,287 deaths occurring in 33 provinces from 1987 to September this year.

Jakarta has the highest number with 2,849 cases, while West Java and Papua are ranked the second and third with 1,445 and 1,268 cases respectively.

The actual number, however, is believed to be much higher as it thought most cases are not reported.

It is estimated that around 246,000 people in the country are infected with the virus.

Zubairi Djoerban, a professor at the School of Medicine from the University of Indonesia, said that patients usually did not realize they had HIV/AIDS because they had symptoms like a high fever, diarrhea, gingivitis or scurvy and a weakening physical condition, all of which could indicate other illnesses.

"Most of them come late for treatment and this might lead to their deaths," he said.

To prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS cases the government will launch the first-ever National Condom Week 2007 month to encourage safe sex. (anw/ewd)

VP visits diarrhea patients

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Vice President Jusuf Kalla Tuesday paid an improptu visit to Koja General Hospital in North Jakarta to meet with diarrhea patients.

The vice president made the visit after officiating the operation of Jakarta Car Terminal on the premises of Tanjung Priok Harbor in North Jakarta.

In the 15-minute visit, Kalla was accompanied by Transportation Minister Jusman Syafii Djamal, State Enterprises Minister Sofyan Djalil, and Industry Minister Fahmi Idris.

Eight people have died of diarrhea at the hospital since Nov 21, the hospital`s spokesperson, Ni Wayan Ani P, said.

The dead patients had suffered heavy dehydration since they were rushed to the hospital, she said.

A total of 80 people, 72 of them children, were being treated for diarrhea at the hospital on Wednesday, she said.

This compared to 96 patients, 86 of them children, the day before, she added.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Yogyakarta two degrees warmer, official says

Slamet Susanto, The Jakarta Post, Yogyakarta

The climate in Yogyakarta city has gradually increased over the past two years due to global warming, a government agency says.

Previously, the temperature in the city ranged between 33 and 34 degrees Celsius, but now swings between 35 and 37.8 degrees.

"The temperature rise in Yogyakarta is a current global phenomenon also happening elsewhere as the result of global warming," said Yogyakarta Meteorological and Geophysics Agency (BMG) Data and Information Division head Tyar Prasetya.

Prasetya added his office had detected a gradual rise in temperatures in the city over the past two years. The city recorded temperatures of between 33 to 34 degrees Celsius previously, but in November 2006 the highest temperature reached 37.8 degrees Celsius and in December of the same year it stood at 35.2 degrees Celsius.

He said the BMG recorded temperatures of 35.2 degrees Celsius in February and 35 degrees in October this year.

Prasetya said every party must pay special attention to reduce global warming so as to alleviate its negative impacts.

A number of Yogyakarta residents say they have noticed the change.

"Yogyakarta's climate is very hot now, especially when we go out in the daytime," said Amirudin, a father of two.

He said that the atmosphere around the Gadjah Mada University's roundabout, a popular meeting place, used to be cool in the afternoon.

"The climate along Jalan Kaliurang, which was cool previously due to its proximity to the mountain, is quite hot now, let alone the area around the university, which is closer to the coastal area," said Amirudin.

Yogyakarta Environmental Office's Waste Management Division head Peter Lawuasal said his office was conducting a study to determine the current trend in temperature rises.

The study is being conducted in 10 points in the city focusing on tests such as lead levels and ambient temperature.

"We are currently testing them in the laboratory," said Peter.

Peter added his office had previously conducted research on lead content in the blood levels of taxi drivers, bus conductors and pedicab drivers.

"Tests showed that the lead content exceeded the permitted level," said Peter.

He said the lead content in their blood indicates a high level of air pollution in the city.

The local municipality is carrying out a regreening program in an attempt to lower air pollution in the city. It has been using money from the provincial budget to procure idle land in the city for the past two years.

"We buy vacant plots of land and turn them into green areas or public parks," said Yogyakarta Mayor Herry Zudianto.

The tree replanting program is being carried out in conjunction with a campaign to plant trees along streets and in private gardens. The municipality will provide 31,000 tree seedlings by the end of the year and encourage residents to get involved in the program.

RI climbs one rung on development index

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Indonesia has raised its Human Development Index (HDI) ranking through improvements in a number of key sectors, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced Tuesday.

The Human Development Report for 2007/2008, Fighting Climate Change: Human Solidarity in a Divided World ranks Indonesia 107th out of 177 countries, with its overall index rising from 0.711 to 0.728 this year.

"The HDI report looks back at a measure of health, education and income ... the standard of living among 177 countries and Indonesia is number 107 this year, one step further than last year," Hakan Bjorkman, UNDP country director for Indonesia, said.

"The change is related to other countries which are improving more. But, slowly, slowly, Indonesia is improving in these areas, but maybe not fast enough," he told The Jakarta Post upon the launch of the Human Development Report.

"The improvement is not as fast as in Vietnam, but Cambodia and Myanmar are much slower than Indonesia," he added.

In the key sectors of life expectancy at birth and gross domestic product per capita, Indonesia rose respectively from 67.2 to 69.7 and from US$3,609 to $3,843.

This year, the UNDP especially focused its report on climate change issues in the lead-up to the global climate change conference in Bali in December.

"Since 1990 we have published the annual Human Development Report, but this year's report differs from last year's in that it is not from a narrow economic point of view, but from the climate change point of view," said Bjorkman.

"This report is a good reference for climate change issues." he added.

"The impact will be serious on the poor countries. If we don't do the right things right now, climate change will sabotage the Millennium Development (Goals)," said Bjorkman.

Bjorkman also said that most of the climate change has been caused by carbon emissions in developed countries over the past hundred years.

"As a good example of global solidarity between rich and poor countries, it's a big responsibility for rich countries to support the countries that are most affected, which are the poor countries, in terms of mitigating, fighting climate change or transplanting technology," Bjorkman said.

Indonesia should also be able to rely on international support. At a Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2001, governments established some funding mechanisms, including the Special Climate Change Fund to support adaptation activities and to improve monitoring of diseases, early warning systems and responses, disaster planning and preparedness for droughts and floods. (rff)

Empowering the young to fight HIV

Joyce and David Djaelani Gordon, Contributors Jakarta Post, Jakarta

With World AIDS Day just a few days away, many of us here are busy organizing programs, walks, shows and media presentations.

There are also countless numbers of people and organizations across the world who are preparing to deliver their HIV/AIDS messages on this day of observation and reflection, and hope.

At this time of year -- approaching the 20th World AIDS Day -- we consider the past, the present and the future. It is a time to spread the good news: the advances in medical research, the development of new strategies and hopes, and the search for effective vaccines. And we share, in retrospect, the failures, shortcomings and hesitancies of the past year too.

We have known for many years that much of the driving force, worldwide, behind the HIV/AIDS pandemic is "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll". In Indonesia, nationwide statistics show that 56 percent of all cases of HIV/AIDS are among 15-29 year olds.

Among the injecting drug users (IDUs) who are infected with HIV, 1.99 percent are 15-19 years old, and 68.22 percent are between the ages of 20 and 29. Cumulative data shows 72.1 percent of the AIDS cases in the capital city of Jakarta and 81.2 percent of the AIDS cases in West Java are primarily from IDUs. Looking at nationwide statistics by mode of transmission, 49.5 percent of HIV diagnoses are IDUs, and 42 percent were transmitted sexually.

"Drugs, sex and rock 'n' roll" remain a part of the youth scene. Today's youngsters represent a high-risk group for HIV, which also includes sub-groups of ultra-high-risk youth populations.

In fact this is a group of people whom we have had the chance to reach out to since they were preteens and teens. HIV/AIDS and drug use have been around for longer than the teens of today. Another reality is we have had much time and many opportunities to understand the mind-set of preteens and reach out to them.

Young people represent a huge percentage of the driving force behind the epidemic, as well as a huge number of those being infected by the epidemic. It is only natural, therefore, to involve young people in building existing networks and peer support systems and designing action plans.

A great deal of attention has been given to offering young people a voice in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Yet, herein lies the "gap". Why are there not more young educators, advocates, carriers of the message and planners of plans of action?

At YAKITA we have trained hundreds of young people and dozens of youth groups (16-24 years old) and we have some 200-plus young people engaged in outreach work every week.

After training, these young people are supported to do outreach work in their own areas. In their new roles, they automatically begin to provide care, support and treatment for other youngsters.

Yet for us and many others working with HIV/AIDS this only scratches the surface. The difficulties we have encountered here remain virtually the same as encountered across the nation and the globe for some two decades now.

There are many young people doing wonderful and heartfelt work. They band together with other youngsters and are courageously involved in most of the areas regarding HIV/AIDS and correlated issues.

Still, the reality is the number of truly youth-driven initiatives falls short in comparison with the prevalence of HIV in the lives of the nation's young people.

In many countries across Asia, the definition of youth participation is still limited. Hence, often young people are offered token participation rather than full integration in HIV/AIDS work.

How can young people plan or initiate anything if their basic education is limited. Or, if schools and communities working with young people remain shy and discriminatory in talking about HIV/AIDS.

Also young people, as is the way, over the years move into adulthood. Hence, the regeneration and retraining of young people must be done on a continual and evolving basis.

Adult commitment and funding -- which is absolutely necessary for youth to be thoroughly educated, given quality training, and given a place of their own (a facility/center) -- has all too often been lacking or shortsighted. Without adequate funding and support, young people and their services will be marginalized, and their programs destined not to last.

And, learning from past experience, we know that youth-to-youth education and outreach programs often work best. Young people have the energy to reach a great many other young people across the nation. And doing this work may help increase their self-esteem, self worth and life skills.

Youngsters possess a voice that reaches where no other (child, adult or elderly) voice can reach. There needs be a committed resolution to today's youth so that they -- as a collective population -- can kindle the kind of strength needed to challenge, to subdue, and then to minimize the spread of the virus.

It has taken time to be fully aware of the consequences of HIV. As for all of us living and working at the frontlines of the epidemic, we encourage increased investment in our youth in 2008.

So what can you do? Get the facts, and teach the young people around you about HIV/AIDS, about drug use, abuse and addiction.

If young people are not educated now about matters that will affect their lives, we will see more babies with HIV, and far more young people infected with HIV. If this happens more young people, more futures will be lost. The biggest loss of all is if we lose our children to HIV. It is our shared responsibility to turn back the epidemic. If we, as adults, cannot learn, how can we expect young people to learn? How can we expect them to carry the HIV/AIDS message?

Joyce & David Djaelani Gordon are the directors of YAKITA -- Indonesia, a peer-based drug recovery non-governmental organization.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Indonesian Bird Flu Virus Mutates into 5 Types

Monday, 26 November, 2007 | 17:13 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The development of H5N1 bird flu virus in Indonesia has been faster than that of any other country.

A molecular biology researcher from Airlangga University, Surabaya, Dr.C.A. Nidom, said that in Indonesia the H5N1 virus has already mutated to five subdivisions, on Monday (26/11).

“In other countries however, the mutation found was only three virus variants,” said Nidom.

The subdivisions of mutated virus in Indonesia are divided into type A, B, C, C1 and D.

Categories A and B have spread in Sumatra, with category C in Kalimantan.

Category C1 has spread in several places, while category D is found in Papua and southern Sumatra.

“We're also surprised that the virus in Indonesia is under local law, so between one area and the other they're different. The virus even mutated,” added Dr Nidom.

Therefore, now a molecular review is still required in order to identify the different characteristics of the virus types.

The mutation of the H5N1 virus in Indonesia, said the chief of Bio Safety Level-3 (BSL-3) bird flu laboratory, was still on a small scale.

Therefore, the handling must also be adjusted to the virus characteristics.

In addition, so far a medicine for bird flu patients has not yet been found.

“Tamiflu is actually a regular flu drug, but instead of nothing at all, Indonesia decided to use Tamiflu,” he said.

Bird Flu laboratory opens in Surabaya

Indra Harsaputra, The Jakarta Post, Surabaya

Airlangga University in Surabaya, East Java, opened a new avian influenza laboratory Monday, giving the region a new weapon in the fight against the disease that has killed 91 people across Indonesia.

University rector Prof. Fasich presided over the opening ceremony, which was also attended by Hiroshi Ota, vice president of Japan's Kobe University and dozens of bird flu experts from both countries.

The research facility, housed in the Tropical Disease Center compound of the University, is the second bio-safety level III laboratory in the country. The other is at the Eijkman Institute of Molecular Biology at the State Ministry of Research and Technology.

"The Health Ministry has only a bio-safety level II laboratory," the new lab's head, Chairul Anwar Nidom, said.

He said the new lab was built to international standards and was equipped with the same high-tech instruments as the avian influenza lab in Hong Kong, which until now has been the Indonesian government's primary bird flu referral laboratory.

"The new laboratory will be staffed with Indonesian experts and four Japanese experts. With the operation of this facility, samples taken from suspected (bird flu) patients can be processed here. There will be no need to send them to Hong Kong any more," he said.

The Japanese government supplied the instruments and equipment for the laboratory, which is worth Rp 15 billion.

"This laboratory has the ability to process blood samples as well as samples taken from other parts of human and animal bodies," he added.

Workers at the laboratory will also investigate the patter of avian influenza's distribution across the country to construct a comprehensive picture of the disease.

"This will be a gigantic task," Chairul said.

The laboratory is the latest addition to Airlangga University's Tropical Disease Center. The center also has research facilities for hepatitis, dengue fever and HIV/AIDS.

Diarrhea blamed on tainted water

JAKARTA (Jakarta Post): Deputy Governor Prijanto said non-sterilized mineral water caused the diarrhea outbreak in North Jakarta.

He said the administration would take immediate action to check water refill stations in the area to curb the outbreak.

"Non-sterilized refill water contains viruses that cause diarrhea," he said at City Hall on Monday, as quoted by Tempointeraktif news portal.

Prijanto said the recent disruption of water supplies in the area forced residents to use bottled mineral water, which most drank without first boiling.

The administration and the city water company have set up kiosks selling clean water at Rp 1,800 per cubic meter.

According to the administration, the diarrhea outbreak in North Jakarta has infected 121 people and claimed eight lives. --JP

Minister barking mad over 'tree man' samples going abroad

The Jakarta Post

Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari said that the government would send an official letter to Anthony Gaspari, a dermatologist at the University of Maryland, to question his taking abroad of tissue and blood samples from an Indonesian patient without official authorization.

The minister issued the statement Sunday after visiting the patient, Dede, who is being treated in Hasan Sadikin Hospital, Bandung, for epidermo-displacia and giant cutaneous horn, which have severely disfigured him. The dry tree bark-like appearance of his skin had earned Dede the sobriquet "Tree Man".

"Samples are very important, particularly for infections caused by viruses. If (the samples are taken abroad, they could become lucrative commodities," she said.

"Therefore, the state reserves the right to authorize the removal from the country of samples. Whatever the reasons are ... Dr. Anthony Gaspari never contacted the Indonesian authorities before he conducted a biopsy on Dede and took the samples abroad," she said.

Dede's condition became public knowledge after RCTI TV broadcast a Discovery Channel documentary on his plight earlier this month. Rather unsympathetically titled Half Man, Half Tree, the documentary was so moving that after watching it President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and First Lady Kristiani Herawati called Siti Fadilah Supari and asking the minister to prioritize Dede's treatment.

The Discovery Channel paid Dede US$500 for appearing in the documentary, and brought Gaspari to Indonesia to examine him.

The minister also asked the media not to exploit the suffering of people afflicted with serious illnesses, like Dede, merely for the sake of profit.

"How much money did he get from the documentary? It is a matter of human rights. Do not take advantage of these people. They should be given enough money to treat their illness," she said.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Indonesia's health minister says 'no' to sharing bird flu virus with WHO

The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA (AP): Indonesia's health minister reiterated Sunday that she would not send bird flu specimens to the World Health Organization, saying poor nations needed assurances that any pandemic vaccines developed from the virus would be affordable.

Siti Fadilah Supari made the comments on her return from Geneva, where the WHO held an intergovernmental conference aimed at rebuilding a global system for sharing flu viruses following a months-long standoff with Indonesia.

"The meeting failed to come up with a material of transfer agreement," she told reporters in the city of Bandung. "So we have no obligation to send bird flu virus samples to the World Health Organization."

Indonesia has been harder hit by the H5N1 bird flu virus than any other country in the world, accounting for 91 of the 206 known human deaths from the virus. Vietnam ranks second with 46 deaths, and Thailand third with 17.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Indonesian minister hits out at TV channel over documentary: report

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian health minister lashed out at the Discovery Channel on Sunday for exploiting a villager known as the "Tree Man" for a documentary, reports said.

Dede, who goes by one name and is dubbed the "Tree Man" because of massive bark-like warts growing on much of his body, was in a Discovery Channel documentary this month.

The growths entirely cover his hands in long, root-like tendrils that leave him unable to work.

"They have taken his image for free, then commercialised it. The man had received nothing," Siti Fadillah Supari was quoted saying by Detikcom news website after she met the 32-year-old Dede in a hospital in West Java.

Supari said that the Indonesian government would send a lawyer to Dede to help him recover his rights from the Discovery Channel.

The channel was not immediately available for comment.

Asked to comment on speculation Indonesia had barred Dede from travelling to the United States to receive treatment, she said: "The Indonesian government has yet to receive any request to bring him to the US. That's only a rumour."

Indonesian medical teams would cooperate with Anthony Gaspari, a dermatologist from the US University of Maryland -- who examined Dede as part of the documentary -- to treat Dede, she said.

"We will cooperate with Dr Anthony from Maryland who had taken his blood sample and specimen... We will treat him with medication as requested by him," the minister was quoted by AFP as telling local radio ElShinta.

Gaspari believes the massive growths are a combination of a virus which causes warts and a genetic disorder that means Dede's immune system is too weak to fight them off.

Mahkota Dewa Tea, an herbal cure-all

Slamet Susanto, The Jakarta Post, Kulonprogo, Yogyakarta

Lamuri had a heart complaint and hypertension for some time. The woman from Kampung Bahari, North Jakarta, did not see any improvements, even after consulting specialists several times.

"I started drinking Mahkota Dewa Tea and then I regained my health," she said.

Muhidin Hasan told a different story. The father of three from Plumbon in Kulonprogo regency's Temon district, almost lost his sense of self-worth before his wife: He suffered from erectile dysfunction.

"After regularly drinking Mahkota Dewa Tea, we could resume intimacy in less than a month," he claimed.

These are only two of the numerous people enjoying the benefits of Mahkota Dewa Tea. This herbal concoction is composed of 70 percent Mahkota Dewa, also known as the Crown of God (Phaleria Papuana) fruit, 20 percent green tea (Camelia sinensis) and 10 percent tea parasites (Scurrula cetropurpurea).

The tea is also believed to cure various other diseases and ailments, including cancers and tumors, to reduce the uric acid content in the bloodstream and to burn cholesterol, because it contains the key organic compounds needed by the human body.

The tea blend has been produced as an herbal drug since 2003 by PT Salama Nusantara, which employs 150 farmers in Samigaluh, Kulonprogo. It is licensed by the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) and the Ministry of Health, and is certified by the Indonesian Ulema Council.

PT Salama Nusantara director Maryono said that research carried out by Sumastuti of Yogyakarta's Gadjah Mada University (UGM) had found the Mahkota Dewa fruit to contain antihistamines, flavonoids, saponin, polyohenol and other substances with analgesic, anti-bacterial and blood sugar-lowering effects.

Separately, a green tea study by Johannes Guitenburg of Germany's Mainz University indicated that the presence of active antioxidants and anti-carcinogen components in the leaves was effective for the prevention of cellular and DNA damage caused by free radicals, which are connected to cancers and heart problems.

"Tea parasites are useful for cancer prevention," added Maryono.

To maintain a product quality devoid of chemicals, the company's farmers use organic fertilizers in growing the herbs. UGM personnel, acting as advisers and supervisors, conduct regular field checks to make sure that the plants are completely free of inorganic elements.

The herbal mixture is also made according to a strict process: desiccated Mahkota Dewa fruit is blended with green tea and tea parasites at a ratio of 7:3:1; green tea is freeze-dried to maintain its medicinal properties.

"The entire blending process is overseen by pharmacists for quality control," Maryono told The Jakarta Post during a visit to his secondary production site on Jl. Tentara Pelajar in Sebokarang, Wates regency.

The blend is then packaged in ordinary 100-gram plastic pouches, each priced at Rp 20,000, and in the more fashionable 130-gram cardboard boxes, each priced Rp 35,000.

"Though the packaging and content weight are different, they have the same efficacy," Maryono assured.

Export & employment

Two thousand packs of Mahkota Dewa Tea are now manufactured daily. Their marketing is handled by agents in Jakarta and Surabaya, and in major cities across Bali.

"We expect to have more marketing agents in other cities. But we still impose strict requirements to guarantee product quality," stressed Maryono.

Since this year, Mahkota Dewa Tea has been sought by overseas consumers, and Malaysia and Suriname have each ordered 50,000 packages.

"We deliver 2,000 packages to Malaysia weekly. As there are no direct flights to Suriname, we make monthly deliveries to that country," revealed Maryono.

Aside from maintaining strict quality control, job creation is another priority of PT Salama Nusantara in its herbal drug manufacturing business.

In packaging, for instance, the company uses no machines.

"For packaging work, we employ 24 people, while only three are needed with machines. We want to provide jobs," said Maryono.

In addition, farmers are trained to mince and half-dry the Mahkota Dewa fruit, and supply the fruit in this half-processed form.

"In this way, they can enjoy greater financial benefits," said Maryono. "The fruit only costs Rp 1,000 per kilogram. We pay them Rp 10,000 for 1 kg of half-processed fruit, which requires 7 kg of raw material to make."

Maryono said that quite a number of consumers had requested the herbal medicine be produced in syrup form for easy consumption, but the constraint was the liquid tea's shelf life.

"We are studying whether a liquid blend is as effective as our dried product. Otherwise, we won't produce syrup because we use no preservatives," he said.

Maryono started his herbal medicine business because of a personal concern over the presence of various over-the-counter drugs and supplements containing substances hazardous to the health. Many medicinal products and supplements have now been found to contain harmful -- and illegal -- chemicals, preservatives, and additives.

"Consumers should be careful, as some so-called herbal drugs have a high chemical content," Maryono cautioned.

In cooperation with UGM and local farmers, Maryono set up the company in 2003, with hopes that Indonesia would regain its potential in the health market through indigenous herbal medicine production.

Indonesia was known previously for an indigenous herb called Jawa Dwipa but, said Maryono, "it was abandoned although it had already been proven to have positive health benefits".

While wondering why Indonesians relied so much on foreign health products, Maryono noted that several types of drugs and supplements from Malaysia or Singapore, sold at high prices here, were manufactured with raw materials from Indonesia.

The main challenge to Indonesia's herbal medicine industry is the existence of "herbal" drugs loaded with chemicals.

"So we are producing drugs without preservatives or additives to restore the public trust and to prompt consumers to be more selective in buying health products," said Maryono.

Games give cheer to disabled, families

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Sri Sujiati wiped off the perspiration from her daughter Amelia's forehead with a towel.

She was waiting for Amelia's turn to play bocce, a game similar to lawn bowling, at the soccer and bocce invitational for mentally disabled people organized by Indonesia Special Olympics (SOIna) at the Ragunan Sports Arena, Ragunan, South Jakarta, on Saturday.

"I don't know what time Amelia will start to play. I can't wait to see and support her playing," said Sri, sitting outside the 3-by-18 meter bocce field.

Amelia, 11, was representing her region, East Kalimantan, in the bocce tournament.

Physically, the girl looks like other children. She likes playing and chatting with her teammates.

"Amelia is physically normal. But when she was eight, I knew there was something wrong with her. She couldn't read well in second grade of elementary school and she failed every test," said Sri.

She said that Amelia's friends deserted her daughter and some teachers were unkind to her.

"I was at my wit's end. Then the headmaster told me to send Amelia to a special school. I couldn't face the reality that my daughter was disabled and I couldn't send her to such a school.

"I was ashamed. I was crying all day. What would people think about my family and me?" said Sri.

She then discussed the problem with her friends and they convinced her to send Amelia to a special school.

It was the right decision. Sri said that Amelia's new teachers and friends were kind and helpful. "Amelia can now read well. For the last two years, she has played bocce and represented East Kalimantan. I'm very proud of her. I don't feel ashamed anymore," Sri said.

Amelia is just one among 120 mentally disabled players from eight provinces - South Sumatra, Riau, Bangka Belitung, Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, South Kalimantan and East Kalimantan -- participating in the national Special Olympics one-day tournament.

SOIna chairwoman Pudji Hastuti said that the tournament was intended to replace the 2007 national championships, which had been canceled due to budget constraints.

"To hold a large-scale national championships, we would need between Rp 300 billion (US$32 million) and Rp 400 billion. We don't have that sort of money as it was spent on this year's Special Olympics in Shanghai. We only have Rp 25 million, but that's enough for a small tournament with two events like this," said Pudji.

SOIna national director Jack Ospara said that the tournament was also part of the organization's program to prepare and select athletes for the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece.

"At this year's Olympics, we only participated in three events -- track and field, badminton and table tennis. We hope that we can participate in at least five events in the next Olympics," said Jack, adding that Indonesia took nine gold, nine silver and four bronze medals at the 2007 games.

This tournament is good for motivating disabled people. We hope that wealthy parents will make donations to help us organize competitions to prepare us for the Olympics," he said. (trw)

12 dead, 5 injured in Indonesia bus blaze

Inquirer.net

Agence France-Presse, Last updated 02:16pm (Mla time) 11/24/2007

JAKARTA -- Twelve people were killed and at least five badly injured when a bus burst into flames early Saturday on Indonesia's Borneo Island, reports said.

"One of the survivors is critical and four others need intensive care. All of them suffered severe burn injuries," Agus Budiawan, director of Kasongan hospital in Central Kalimantan province, told Elshinta radio.

He said the five had been transported to the provincial capital Palangkaraya to receive better treatment.

The intercity bus caught fire about 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Palangkaraya. It was not yet known what caused the fire.

Fatal road accidents are common on Indonesia's poorly maintained roadways.

Diarrhea outbreak in North Jakarta kills 81

Mustaqim Adamrah, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

A clean water crisis is being blamed for a diarrhea outbreak in North Jakarta that has resulted in the death of a baby in Koja Hospital.

"Yes, the trend of diarrhea cases is increasing, particularly the numbers reporting to Koja Hospital, due to the lack of clean water," Jakarta Health Agency Deputy Director Salimar Salim said Saturday.

"The figure seems to be continuously rising."

She said the number of diarrhea patients in Koja Hospital had increased "tremendously" from 33 Thursday to 43 Friday, and 81 Saturday, with one seven-month infant passing away Friday.

The infant, who was suffering from severe dehydration, was brought "too late" to the hospital, she said.

In all parts of Jakarta, however, the total number of diarrhea cases decreased from 219 at the end of the first week of this month to 251 as of the second week, 177 as of the third week and 44 as of the past week, said health agency spokeswoman Feurah Dihan.

According to Salimar, most patients being treated are from Rawa Badak and Lagoa subdistricts in Koja district, and Tanjung Priok subdistrict in Tanjung Priok district.

"We have deployed our officers to the subdistricts since Friday to find the contaminated wells," she said.

She said the agency's officers would chlorinate the wells to prevent further increases in the number of diarrhea cases.

Earlier, Jakarta City Secretary Ritola Tasmaya said that the outbreak "must have been caused by lack of clean water".

"Residents in those areas have limited access to clean water," he said.

At least 31 subdistricts in the capital have been suffering from a clean water crisis since last Tuesday, with 29 of the subdistricts located in North Jakarta.

Mike Fordham, production and distribution director of water firm PT Thames PAM Jaya (TPJ), said that fire damage to the company's machinery had caused a disruption in supply.

Ritola said the administration had ordered Jakarta's two water firms, TPJ and PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya (Palyja), to provide clean water to North Jakarta residents.

He said the companies were bound to do so under the contracts with the administration.

"They have 15 tanker trucks to transport water," he stressed.

He said that TPJ and Palyja would store water in the water tanks the residents had used during the February 2007 floods.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

WHO official says Asia should remain alert for bird flu, but some countries unprepared

The Jakarta Post

TOKYO (AP): Some Asian countries have yet to devise a plan on how to respond to a bird flu outbreak, a disease that continues to be a threat for the whole region, a World Health Organization health official warned Saturday.

Preparedness in some Asian developing countries remains inadequate, said Dr. Shigeru Omi, western Pacific director of the World Health Organization.

"There have been outbreaks of bird flu among birds in many countries. It's not something you can just pick up on one country as being threatened," Omi said in an interview with The Associated Press.

It was important for countries to improve the quality of sanitation for the general public and livestock, as well as to report incidents to authorities promptly, Omi said.

Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Singapore were ready to tackle outbreaks, but preparations were inadequate elsewhere, Omi said. He declined to identify where.

Governments also need to address how to compensate farmers whose livestock has been hit by an outbreak, he said.

The H5N1 strain of bird flu has killed or led to the slaughter of millions of birds in recent years. It remains difficult for humans to catch, but has killed at least 206 people worldwide since late 2003, according to the WHO.

Most human cases of H5N1 have so far been traced to contact with infected birds, but experts fear that the strain could mutate into a form that spreads easily between people and trigger a global flu pandemic.

Omi was in Tokyo to launch a health initiative to overhaul health systems in the Asia-Pacific region.

US restaurant case demonstrates how virus spreads

Washington (ANTARA News) - Three staff at a Michigan restaurant who showed up to work sick with a stomach virus infected more than 360 people in the space of a few days, health officials reported on Wednesday.

The case demonstrates how easily and quickly a virus -- in this case a norovirus -- can spread and shows how standard cleaning does a poor job of eliminating viruses.

One of the workers vomited into a trash can and then continued preparing food, including an appetizer platter. Fully a third of the people who ate there became ill that day, Brenda Brennan and Susan Bohm of the Michigan Department of Health reported.

They did not identify the restaurant, which they said was in Eaton County in south-central Michigan.

"This report summarizes the findings of the outbreak investigation, which determined that at least 364 restaurant patrons had become ill," they wrote in the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention`s weekly report on death and disease.

The incident took place in January 2006. Such investigations often take months to track down and document fully.

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause the "stomach flu," or gastroenteritis. The CDC estimates there are 23 million acute cases of norovirus infection every year in the United States alone -- marked by nausea, diarrhea and cramps.

"Approximately 50 percent of all norovirus outbreaks are linked to ill food-service workers," the report reads.

The virus is spread by the fecal-oral route, but similar viruses can live on surfaces for as long as four weeks. Bleach will kill norovirus.

"In this outbreak, the restaurant`s use of cleaning cloths soaked with a quaternary ammonium-based cleaning product likely was ineffective in disinfecting the restaurant," the report reads.

After the outbreak, Michigan officials issued new recommendations.

They first call for exposed food and items such as paper napkins, takeout containers and straws to be discarded.

"All surface areas within at least a 25-foot (8-metre) radius of the vomiting site should be disinfected with a bleach solution," the report reads.

Sick employees should stay home for at least three days after symptoms start to get better and should not be allowed to handle kitchenware or ready-to-eat food for three more days.

Restaurants should also consider closing for a time after someone vomits and restrooms should be closed until they can be cleaned with bleach, Reuters reported.

Survey classes abusers and abuse

Suherdjoko, The Jakarta Post, Semarang

A UNICEF-sponsored survey in Semarang, Central Java, found that close relatives and school teachers are responsible for most instances of child abuse.

The survey found there were seven main types of mistreatment committed by family members against children.

These included scolding, which accounted for 85.3 percent of cases, beating (72.8 percent), whipping (71 percent), tying up (61.9 percent), verbal abuse (61.2 percent) and confinement in the bathroom (60.4 percent).

Children were also subjected to abuse in school.

"Teachers acknowledged they often punish their pupils by scolding them in front of their peers (80.5 percent), forcing them to stand in front of the class (56.8 percent) and requiring them to write down lines (53.2 percent)," Agapitus Prasetya of the United Nations Children's Fund said Wednesday.

He said the survey was jointly conducted with Atma Jaya University in Jakarta. It involved 344 respondents, ranging in age from young children to 18-year-olds in Semarang city and regency.

The survey was conducted from January to March, 2006.

According to respondents, teachers were involved in the majority of cases of child abuse.

"School teachers accounted for most of the abusers, punishing their pupils by making them stand in front of the class, do push-ups, run laps, stand in the sun and by scolding them," said Agapitus.

The number of physical abuse cases encountered by children in the two regions was seen as significant. Topping the list of these cases was pinching, making up 89.5 percent of cases, followed by ear-pulling (71.5 percent) and hitting/whipping (71.5 percent).

Other forms of physical abuse included hair shaving, which accounted for 3.5 percent of cases, beating (5.2 percent), choking (13.4 percent) and confinement to the bathroom (14 percent).

The survey also showed female students were most likely to be subjected to sexual abuse. It categorized seven types of sexual abuse, from touching (37.5 percent), skirt-pulling (9.6 percent), forced kissing (7.8 percent), thigh groping (7.3 percent), genitalia fondling (5.5 percent) and breast fondling (5.5 percent).

Agapitus said abuse could cause physical harm, phobias, anxiety, distress, aggressiveness, delinquency, post-traumatic stress and sexual obsession.

In sexual abuse cases such as rape, it can take dozens of years for children to recover, while in an abuse case in which a child's ear is pulled, he or she could suffer trauma for months.

"Actually, there is a way to avoid violence in school, such as involving the students in defining the school's rules," said Agapitus.

A father of three in Semarang, Yudi, expressed confusion over the survey. "If my children are too naughty, I pinch them, or they'll become naughtier. It's in line with bringing up children and does not, I believe, constitute abuse," he said.

Special scout jamboree opens doors for disabled students

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Walking, assisted by staff, Allan joined a group reposing under a tree Thursday afternoon in the middle of Cibubur camping ground in East Jakarta.

Allan had come with 22 other participants, all the way from Bitung in North Sulawesi, to the five-yearly National Special Scout Jamboree.

After a few minutes of chatter, Allan and other scouts went into a hall to receive instructions on what activities they would be doing next.

This was the fifth day of activities, which began Nov. 18, organized by the National Scouts Committee. Allan was one of 532 special scouts at the event, who were blind, deaf, hyperactive, physically or mentally handicapped, from 17 provinces including Jakarta (which sent the most, 142 scouts).

This was the seventh Special Scouts Jamboree since 1972 involving youths aged between 11 and 21, from second and third scout levels.

As many as 334 scout leaders and doctors were at hand to accompany participants in the activities, which included sending messages in semaphore, outdoor games and making handicrafts.

"The purpose of this camp is to pass on knowledge as well as to foster friendships among participants from different provinces," a spokesperson of the committee, Septembrianti, said.

She said there should be no differences between activities for regular and special scouts.

"For example, even if scouts are mentally challenged they can participate in the same activities as others, only it may take them longer, receiving assistance."

Suryawan, a finance official of the committee, said the Public Welfare Ministry and the State Ministry for Youth and Sports Affairs allocated funds to support the event.

"But each participant had to pay Rp 200,000 (US$23) to pay for food, shirts, a hats and scarfs."

Anang Suparman, the program organizer, said each contingent deployed numerous scout guides to help disabled participants because the committee could not provide enough facilities, such as providing signage in braille for blind participants.

"This year's camp still did not teach them to be independent, because they could ask for help from guides if they had any difficulties," he said.

Andreas, a guide from the North Sumatran contingent, said he needed to be patient to handle 10 scouts who were deaf, blind and mentally handicapped.

"We teach them simple things like codes and ropes," he said.

Samuel, a mentally handicapped participant from Medan, North Sumatra, said he was happy at the jamboree, since this was the first time he could make friends with people from other provinces.

"I love outdoor games because they are challenging," he said. (ewd).