(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)

Monday, December 31, 2007

Some 312 Indonesians die in Saudi during hajj pilgrimage

Mecca (ANTARA News) - A total of 312 Indonesians have died in Saudi Arabia up to Monday (Dec. 31) during this year`s hajj pilgrimage, according to data from the Indonesian hajj information center.

Currently, 33 Indonesian hajj pilgrims were being hospitalized in Saudi Arabia, namely five in Jeddah, 27 in Madinah and one in Mecca.

However, the fact in the field was different from the data from the information center. In An Noor Hospital, Mecca, alone 33 Indonesian hajj pilgrims were being hospitilized.

Up to Saturday (Dec. 30), around 41,516 hajj pilgrims have returned to Indonesia, or 21.37 percent of the total number of 194,239 Indonesians performing hajj pilgrimage this year.

Islam obliges its followers who can afford it to perform hajj pilgrimage once during their life time.

President visits landslide-hit Tawangmangu

The Jakarta Post

KARANGANYAR, Central Java (Antara): President SusiloBambang Yudhoyono walked Monday to a landslide site at Ledoksari village, Tawangmangu district, Karanganyar regency, Central Java, where dozens of people were killed.

The President walked more than two kilometers to reach the landslide-devastated village.

He was accompanied among others by First Lady Ani Yudhoyono, Home Affairs Minister Mardiyanto, Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto, Social Affairs Minister Bachtiar Chamsyah, and Coordinating Ministers for People's Welfare Aburizal Bakrie.

Yudhoyono told the landslide victims that the government would deal with the disaster and urged them to move to safer areas.

Group gives love to unwanted children

Agnes Winarti, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Six sightless children with swollen heads, out of fourteen children between the ages of three and 14, were lying weakly on mattresses on the floor. Others sat in wheelchairs with their heads lolling around and hands flapping uncontrollably.

They are children with mental and physical disabilities: hydrocephalus (water on the brain, which causes the brain to swell with fluid) and cerebral palsy (brain damage due to oxygen deprivation, infection and physical trauma, during or after pregnancy).

Most of them had been abandoned by their parents in hospitals.

The hospitals or the city's social affairs agency then brought them to the Sayap Ibu Foundation, which runs an orphanage and rehabilitation center for disabled children abandoned by their families.

The foundation, which was established in 1955, currently cares for more than 100 abandoned children in Yogyakarta, Jakarta and Banten.

"Most of them were unwanted since pregnancy," 63-year-old Trusti Moelyono, who has run the Jakarta branch for 10 years, told The Jakarta Post.

After finding that mixing the normal and disabled children in the same orphanage was unhealthy, Trusti decided to build another orphanage for the disabled children alone. "They should not be in the same home as the normal children are held back while the disabled ones receive less care."

Since 2005, Trusti has chaired a new branch of the foundation in Banten, which treats abandoned disabled children not only from Greater Jakarta, but also Ujung Pandang, South Sulawesi; West Nusa Tenggara; Lampung; and Medan, North Sumatra.

Many of the children were born disabled due to failed abortions or malnutrition. "The mothers tried to abort them by taking traditional herbs or having special massages."

Trusti said that the cost of treatment for each child in the Banten orphanage per month was about Rp 4 million. The foundation spends about Rp 40 million a month on the orphanage's operations, plus annual rent of Rp 30 million.

All of the expenses are covered by donations from the public.

The foundation is currently receives free treatment for the children in West Jakarta's Fatmawati Hospital and East Jakarta's Budi Asih Hospital. The children also received hydrotherapy treatment from the Care of Disabled Children (YPAC) organization in South Jakarta and the Korps Veteran Cacat Indonesia in Central Jakarta.

Hydrocephalic children also receive herbal treatment at the Bintaro IMC Hospital.

There are two nurses for every three children, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are a total of nine nurses and three volunteer on-call doctors. "It's an effective way of creating deeper emotional bonds between the children and their nurses, rather than hospital-style eight-hour shifts."

Nurse Tini, who has been acting as a mother to the disabled children for more than 13 years, said she was very close to the children, and vice versa.

"They cry and sometimes they get fevers if I take a night off without saying goodbye," said the 35-year-old Tini, adding that she often stayed up late or canceled her leave when her children were sick.

Some people might think that disabled children are unable to feel or think. Tini's and Trusti's years of experience in handling these children proves otherwise.

Tini said she would never consider giving up her job as one of the nurses despite only receiving a monthly salary of Rp 450,000.

Trusti said the foundation got no help from the city administration or the government. "Disabled children are not a priority, probably because of the view that they will never be useful to the country."

However, despite the expense and lack of goverment support, she said that the joy in the children's eyes was enough to encourage her to keep on going. "I'm really happy to see them smiling after they recover from surgery."

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Govt, NGOs, firms work together for national health

Trisha Sertori, Contributor Jakarta Post, Bali

Indonesia's health statistics in 2007 started like too many other years with 16,000-plus cases of dengue fever reported by February.

Most reports came out of the nation's capital due to severe flooding in the opening months of the year. HIV/AIDS is on the rise in much of the country and Indonesia is now the record holder for the greatest number of deaths due to bird flu, with 91 victims.

In many parts of the country malaria is still the number one killer, and polio is yet to be wiped out. Infectious diseases such as these take a serious toll on the country's health services and its productivity and when tied with the country's regular natural disasters, such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, that health service is stretched to the limit.

Despite the grim reality these factors present, the nation, during 2007, has made huge strides addressing infectious disease and the speed and efficiency in emergency health services during natural disasters.

In many cases non-government foundations and corporations have been the prime movers of these positive community health outcomes; with the government services often at breaking point, it is these agencies that are backing up existing, or developing new health initiatives.

Malaria is endemic to Sumba, one of the country's most southerly islands. According to malaria researcher, Claude Ude, around 90 percent of the Sumbanese have had malaria; the island is home to all four strains of the deadly disease.

"Sumba is one of the worst places on earth for malaria - worse than the worst in Africa. Most places with malaria strains have one or two types - here we have all four," said Ude via telephone.

He added that the economic impacts of the community-wide illness were disastrous.have been coming here for the past 19 years. In the beginning I just thought the people were lazy. Since then I have had malaria 30 times and I know what it does to people you can not function at 100 percent, you are lucky to function at 50 percent. This takes a terrible toll on productivity."

Securing first a healthy water supply and then tackling the malaria in Sumba has been an ongoing project of the Sumba Foundation, which funds Ude's malaria eradication program. Simple solutions such as pyrethrum-impregnated mosquito nets supplied to every home within the program have seen productivity "quadruple in 2007", as infection rates decrease Ude explained. "The mosquitoes do not enter houses with the nets, even the head lice problem is eradicated and spiders and other insects also leave the houses".

In June, the Sumba Foundation also opened a new health clinic and completed a further nine clean water projects.

Further east in Papua, malaria in the lowlands continues in 2007 to be the "leading cause of death and illness with 60 to 70 percent of school children carrying the (malaria) parasite in rural areas," said Pasi Penttinen, medical advisor, public health and malaria control with International SOS and PT Freeport Indonesia, via email.

Penttinen stresses Papua "is facing typical developing country health issues, with very limited healthcare services available". This is reflected in limited immunization programs. Dysentery and even cholera outbreaks are common".

Like Sumba, it is NGOs and corporations stepping up to the healthcare plate in parts of Papua, with the Public Health and Malaria Control arm of PT Freeport Indonesian (PTFI), International SOS, and the PTFI-funded LPMAK providing clean drinking water, malaria control with household spraying and insecticide treated bed-nets, 200 kilometers of drainage and free medicine for all confirmed cases of malaria in Timika.

HIV/AIDS is on the rise around the country. In Papua the PTFI has supported a "comprehensive HIV prevention program through the Timika puskesmas (public health clinic)," writes Penttinen. Fourteen thousand condoms are distributed monthly, free healthcare and support are available, community education is ongoing, as is free diagnosis of all sexually transmitted infections.

The ongoing tuberculosis control program is also PTFI-sponsored as are the hospitals, with the International SOS and puskesmas treating almost 200,000 outpatients annually and around 12,000 inpatients.

A worrying trend in 2007 has been meningococcal meningitis cases in Mimika, Papua's highland populations, said Pentinnen. "This year we have seen 39 cases in the Mimika hospitals. All cases are contact traced and their contacts provided with antibiotics by PTFI malaria control. Local health agency and Medicins Sans Frontiers have done two active case finding missions to search for sub-clinical cases.

"I definitely hope we are making a considerable (positive health) impact. I would dare to say the PTFI community health response is a world leader among the mining community. Definitely the malaria control program is the largest of its kind in the world," Pentinnen said.

On the remote island of Halmahera, east of Sulawesi, an Australian charity organization, the Rotary Club of Berwick, Victoria, has this year added a desperately needed hospital wing to the Hohidiai Hospital.

Australian couple, Peter and Esther Scarborough, a registered nurse, moved to Halmahera some years ago with their five children after seeing how much medical assistance was needed in many communities.

They established the Yayasan Berkati Indonesia, Bless Indonesia Today, to augment existing medical services in remote regions of Hamahera.

The construction of leprosy and tuberculosis villages are two health targets, along with the 2007 hospital wing, according to the Rotary Club of Berwick's website.

On Bali, two bird flu deaths were a wakeup call for the community, according to Cynthia Sulaimin from the province's health agency.

"The major problem is public awareness. Communities do not know (the dangers of bird flu) and they don't want to know. We are going around Bali to raise awareness of bird flu, talking to teachers, students, heads of villages and women's organizations; they (women) want to know because they are in the kitchens every day dealing with poultry. They are on the frontline of defense and the most at risk," Cynthia said.

Getting the health message out is successful when students are involved, Cynthia added, because students take the message into their homes. During 2007, the Bali Health Agency has run a television, radio, brochure and flyer campaign to raise understanding of bird flu and how to identify possible outbreaks and prevention methods.

Maternal and child mortality rates in Indonesia are still the highest in the ASEAN nations, according to Robin Lim of the natural child birthing foundation Bumi Sehat in Bali. Robin Lim and Bumi Sehat won in 2007 the best foundation in Bali against 700 other humanitarian foundations.

She said the return to breast-feeding could slash infant mortality figures across the country.

Pop Singer Oppie Andaresta made headlines in 2007 when she decided on a natural birth at Bumi Sehat in Bali over hospitals in Jakarta. Oppie is the poster mother for First Lady Ani Yudhoyono and UNICEF's exclusive breast-feeding campaign, which kicked off last year.

Vaccines also play an invaluable role in community health. In 2007 the Indonesian government vaccinated 31 million children against measles during an integrated health campaign. Along with the measles vaccines, polio vaccinations and Vitamin A supplements were given and insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets were distributed in malaria-prone areas, according to U.S. newswire reports.

The government, NGOs and corporations have, during 2007, made huge steps in public health around the country. However it is clear there is still a long way to go when the country's best serviced and wealthiest capital, Jakarta, is also home to November's diarrhea outbreak, in which a 7-month-old baby was killed and more than 100 others infected, mostly children.

And if the World Wild Fund for Nature is right and global warming increases the risk of flooding and flood-related diseases, according to a report on WWF in The Jakarta Post, things may only get worse.

Child abuse on the rise in RI: Commission

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The National Commission for Child Protection has predicted the number of cases of violence against children will increase next year in line with mounting socio-economic pressure aggravated by traditional misperceptions about child rearing.

"As long as parents are still coping with economic difficulties, children will become victims," deputy chairman of the commission, Muhammad Joni, told reporters while presenting a year-end evaluation report Friday.

He dismissed government claims that the economic situation had been improving and that people would enjoy greater prosperity next year.

The government estimates that gross domestic product (GDP) for 2008 will be up 6.8 percent, inflation will down 6 percent and unemployment rates will drop to 8 or 9 percent, all reflecting another step toward economic recovery.

"The government keeps telling us that things are better now and will be so next year as well. But just take a look at the people in your surroundings, are their lives really improving," he said.

During 2007, the commission received 1,520 complaints of physical, sexual and psychological abuse of children, up from 1,124 in 2006 and 736 in 2005.

Besides this increase, the commission cited another worrying trend. Whereas in 2005 most of the victims were abused by strangers, this year 60 percent of the reported cases involved people the children knew well, including parents, teachers and neighbors.

With child abuse on the rise, Joni urged the government to go beyond ceremonial awareness-raising campaigns and attempt to stop violence against children.

"The major concern about child abuse right now is the fact that parents release economic-related stress on their children," he said. "To stop violence against children means improving people's welfare."

Joni added that efforts, such as providing education and health assistance to children from low income families, could serve to protect children.

Addressing the same forum, head of the commission, Seto Mulyadi, said the government should replace jargon with an emphasis on educating parents on children's issues.

"Violence against children is also related to cultural misperceptions about raising children that are assimilated by parents from tradition," he said. "Parents tend to dictate their children's lives as if they were property. They neglect the fact that children are unique individuals."

He said unless the government intervened in the raising of children, the country could only expect to see a higher number of abuse cases in coming years.

Expressing similar concerns, secretary general of the commission, Arist Merdeka Sirait, said the government had yet to make a concerted effort to handle child abuse cases.

He said the government apparently considered conviction of perpetrators a complete remedy to child abuse.

"There must be a thorough handling of child abuse problems. The government must build crisis centers to help abused children recover and enforce the 2002 Child Protection Law in trials of perpetrators."

He said the 2002 law provided for longer sentences than the Criminal Code, although the Code was more often used by judges in trying abuse cases. (lln)

W. Jakarta authorities search for bird flu

Mustaqim Adamrah, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The West Jakarta municipality has been inspecting poultry in Kalideres subdistrict since Thursday, following the death of a 24-year-old woman due to bird flu in the area a day earlier.

A representative from the West Jakarta Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Agency said the entire subdistrict would be scanned and warnings would be given to unlawful bird owners.

"We found more than 40 birds, chickens and ducks owned by 11 residents in the community unit where the bird flu victim lived. None of the animals were certified," said Moris Sihombing, the head of the agency's animal supervision division.

The H5N1 virus -- the deadliest bird flu strain for humans -- has so far hospitalized 115 people nationwide and killed 94, including 24 deaths in Jakarta alone.

Indonesia tops the list for the highest number of bird flu cases globally.

The deceased, identified only as DF, died in Cengkareng Hospital in West Jakarta two weeks after doctors positively diagnosed her with bird flu.

Samples taken from 55 people who had been in close contact with the victim are being examined at the Health Ministry's lab, with the results to be released within a week, city health agency spokeswoman Tini Suryati said Thursday.

However, on Wednesday the head of the West Jakarta health subagency, Dr. Ariani Murti, told reporters 50 people had been tested for bird flu, with the results all negative.

Tini said her agency was unaware of any friends or relatives of the victim who had displayed typical symptoms of bird flu, including a high fever or respiratory problems.

Both agencies are yet to find a dead or ill bird in the neighborhood of the victim.

In an effort to control the spread of avian influenza in Jakarta, the City Council passed an ordinance in April controlling the farming and distribution of poultry.

According to the ordinance, poultry farmers are required to have a Jakarta identity card, permission from neighborhood authorities, documents detailing the number of birds kept and the size and shape of their enclosure and a license from the City Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Agency. Poultry farms must also be located at least 25 meters from any residential area.

Poultry farmers and slaughterhouse owners with preexisting businesses have six months to fulfill the requirements or their businesses will be shut down and their birds seized.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Bayu Krisnamurthi: The man in charge of coordinating bird flu response

Emmy Fitri, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

As a "punishment" for being part of the independence movement of the 1930s, young doctor Ismangil was sent off by the Dutch colonial administration to a tiny village in Selong in Lombok to quell outbreaks of pests.

Only scanty records of the outbreaks exist in history textbooks, but the event was a turning point for Ismangil's family: His actions encouraged the younger generation to fight the good fight.

As wise men point out, for better or for worse, history repeats itself unexpectedly. Under entirely different circumstances, Ismangil's grandson, Bayu Krisnamurthi, was given the opportunity to follow in his grandfather's footsteps.

"To me it's not a punishment, it's a duty that I have been entrusted to perform," Bayu said firmly.

Unlike his grandfather, Bayu does not come from a medical background but from one in economics.

A dedicated lecturer at his alma mater, the Bogor Institute of Agriculture, the father of three daughters said the task came with the post he assumed as a deputy to the coordinating minister for the economy.

Bayu was born well off in Manado, North Sulawesi, but had a varied upbringing, experiencing at first hand the poverty and daily struggles of the farmers living in his grandparents' hometown in Blora, Central Java.

"When I was small, my grandparents' village in Ngawen, Blora was our hometown. We visited it every holiday. Nothing changed dramatically (in Ngawen), there was a slow evolution, while in big cities life changes rapidly -- financial situations turn around so fast," recalled the 44-year-old.

"It may sound romantic, but as a child I always thought of doing something for farmers."

Bayu has made great strides toward achieving his life goals since graduating from agricultural college.

His current posts at the Economics Ministry, the National Logistics Agency (Bulog) and at a number of ad-hoc committees have enabled him to amicably accommodate farmers' perspectives in policy-making.

Bayu's friends and colleagues banteringly say his job is to take care of nasi goreng ayam (fried rice with chicken): The nasi stands for the rice issue at Bulog, the goreng for Bayu's role in crude palm oil affairs and the ayam for his position on the national bird flu committee.

When the avian influenza outbreak in poultry was reported in 2003 in Central Java, Bayu's response to mass culling demands was carefully put: "The intangible aspects of culling chickens are overwhelming -- we cannot afford them."

The majority of Indonesia's population are reliant on agriculture for their livelihoods.

Poultry and livestock raising have become an indispensable part of the farmer's way of life, preserving the natural ecology of rural areas. However, the introduction of livestock and poultry production to urban areas has come with a number of drawbacks.

"The first book I read after being appointed to chair the National Committee on Avian Influenza and Pandemic Preparedness was The Great Influenza. The book sheds light on what we're dealing with and has helped me understand the battle we're facing," Bayu said.

John M. Barry's The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History chronicles accounts of the phenomenal 1918 swine flu, caused by H1N1, in the U.S., during which millions of people of productive age were killed.

The 1918 outbreak is one of the ugliest in mankind's history. Experts fear the H5N1 virus, which causes avian influenza, could similarly mutate, triggering another pandemic.

If the virus continues to spread from bird to bird and then among humans it could lead to a global pandemic that could kill up to 150 million people worldwide, with estimated costs reaching up to US$2 trillion.

Having infected more than 340 people worldwide, avian influenza has become a global concern with researches dedicating their time to unraveling its secrets.

Although hardest hit, Indonesia has yet to make any significant contribution to the world's scientific quest. To make things worse, in February this year, Health Minister Siti Fadila Supari decided to cease sharing specimens of the live virus -- virus specimens obtained from confirmed human cases -- as a protest to perceived unfair treatment from the World Health Organization.

Experts expressed dismay at the ministry's prolonged standoff with the WHO, with Siti demanding a revision to the 50-year-old Global Influenza Surveillance system.

Bayu declined to comment on the matter.

"(Producing) a human vaccine for avian influenza is not in our main priority at this stage," he said diplomatically.

"We've been living with this virus all along. What we can do is to live with it. It is best to prevent it from infecting us through adopting good hygiene practices. That's why one of our primary focuses is reaching the public and devising an effective campaign to communicate our messages."

With more than 220 million people and approximately 1.4 billion chickens living in Indonesia, Bayu's work is highly challenging and unrelentless.

During last week's interview his cellular phone suddenly beeped. "Good news. The latest (avian influenza in human) confirmed case in Tangerang is recovering," he smiled, sharing the contents of a text message.

"In the past two years, we have seen better coordination among government sectors, unlike in the past. Communication among us (related government officials) is also improving. Public campaigns are jointly held to ensure broader outreach and community participation," he said.

"I often think, why am I doing all these jobs? But I never find an answer -- so I just put my head down and work," said Bayu who commutes from Bogor to Jakarta every day.

Bayu is a hands-on type of guy. He strives for the best and nothing gets past him.

He was once stopped in the street by a neighbor, who wanted to know what to do about his pet birds. "We went through the procedure for cleaning the bird cage. When I jogged past his house the next week, I saw the cage was clean. It was such a relief," Bayu said.

Battling avian influenza, which was originally a poultry disease, is not a job for the government alone.

"Public participation is vital because it's their awareness and altered behavior that can prevent new infections."

A number of disasters have hit the country in recent years, ranging from the man-made to the natural, and now, according to Bayu, possibly virus made.

Bayu said he did not want his family to get too comfortable with his government position. "Every morning I tell my wife that today could be my last day in the job. I take nothing for granted," he said.

A colleague, who asked not to be named, said she had strong memories of Bayu speaking before poultry farmers in North Sumatra. He told the farmers that if their chickens were infected with avian influenza, they had to be culled.

"He told the farmers, 'if necessary I'll buy all the chickens'. But then he asked us where he'd find the money to buy all those chickens," she said.

To her, Bayu possesses the rare characteristics of a great leader.

"He's very accessible and open. Friends from donor organizations and international agencies surely share my opinion. We can find a brother, father, lecturer and a leader in Bayu."

PKK told to help erase poverty

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Home Minister Mardiyanto is calling for more involvement from the Family Welfare Movement (PKK) in poverty eradication, in an apparent effort to revive the family welfare program that flourished in the past.

"We have provided the legal umbrella for the movement by allocating funds in the regional budget," Mardiyanto said during the commemoration of the 35th United Welfare Movement Day at the office of the Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday.

He suggested that the organization endorse small-scale family businesses through its 10 welfare programs, with full support by the government.

"We also must pay careful attention to adapting quickly and properly to the rapid changes globalization is bringing to Indonesia," the minister added.

He praised the recent PKK initiative of planting 1 million trees nationwide as the kind of response the country needed to tackle current problems in development.

PKK, an organization committed to improving the welfare of families around the country, functioned at its peak during the Soeharto era, with members consisting of the wives of government officials.

The wife of the Home Minister, Effi Mardiyanto, who currently chairs the PKK executive board, said that she expected the organization to show more commitment as the government's partner in development.

"Let us bring a touch of compassion to our nation's work, so we can develop in the spirit of professionalism and commitment," she said.

Effi also asked members from PKK's regional branches who attended the ceremony to look back in history to learn more about what they would do for the future.

"Our initial intention was to empower the community and improve the welfare of the people, and this should be upheld. We must keep this in mind when we plan our programs in the coming years."

The movement was initiated by the wife of a governor of Central Java, Isriati Moenadi, after she witnessed the heart-break of widespread malnutrition in the country in 1967.

United Welfare Movement Day is celebrated annually on Dec. 27, marking the day in 1972 when the organization spread its wings nationally, after it legally changes its name from "Family Welfare Education" to "Family Welfare Movement".

During the 35th celebration of that day, the Home Minister handed out achievement awards to 82 members of the organization for their service.

Organization members who have served for 25 years were presented with the Adhi Bhakti Utama Award, while the Adhi Bhakti Madya Award was presented to 66 members with 15 years of involvement. (lva)

Chikungunya outbreak infects thousands

Oyos Saroso H.N., The Jakarta Post, Bandarlampung

Chikungunya disease has infected thousands of people in Bandarlampung over the last month.

In the worst-hit area, Waydadi subdistrict in Sukarame, the mosquito-borne disease has struck 500 or so residents in three neighborhood units.

"Ninety percent of the residents in our neighborhood have been infected by chikungunya. There are 94 families in our neighborhood, and in each family, two to three members have been infected by the disease. My wife and I also caught it," said RT 13 neighborhood unit chief in Waydadi, Amin Ismail, on Thursday.

The infection rate is similarly high in the RT 10 and RT 12 neighborhood units.

Amin said he had reported the rampant disease to the subdistrict and district chiefs four weeks ago, but had yet to receive a reply.

"Usually, when an outbreak affects many people, the provincial and municipal administrations immediately respond, for example by conducting fumigation around the neighborhood or providing free medication. But the administration has not responded as of yet," said Amin.

According to Amin, residents who fall ill generally go to the community health center because they cannot afford to go to a hospital or doctor.

Waydadi district chief Amil Riadi said he was unaware residents were infected with chikungunya. "There were no reports from the subdistrict office or community health centers," said Amil.

The disease spread to a number of districts in Bandarlampung starting in November, as rainy season approached. Aside from Sukarame district, the disease has also infected residents in North and South Telukbetung, Kemiling, Sukaraja, Panjang and Kedaton districts.

Bandarlampung Health Office deputy head Tri Henny Sukemi said her office was coordinating with the provincial health office to carry out a fumigation drive in a number of subdistricts deemed rife with the disease.

The coordinator of the Coalition for a Healthy Lampung (KULS), Herdimansyah, said provincial and city health officials had been sluggish in responding to the outbreak.

"The number of patients has climbed into the thousands, but there is not yet any concrete action. The disease in Lampung can be categorized as an extraordinary case now due to its vast spread and the huge number of those affected," he said.

Herdimansyah added that the disease had also infected residents in a number of regencies in Lampung, such as Tanggamus and South Lampung.

He said no fatalities had been reported so far in Lampung, but said the disease was very harmful due to its impact on people's productivity.

"Those affected by the disease obviously cannot go to work for at least a week. It might not matter if they were civil servants or private sector employees because they would still get paid, but what about the poor people who work as laborers? They cannot earn a living if they're sick," said Herdimansyah.

He added the number of sufferers in Lampung might be more than 1,000 because community health centers and doctors treating patients generally do not report cases to the health office.

"Many sufferers also do not seek treatment because they cannot afford to," he said.

Bandarlampung Health Office head Reihana said a number of subdistricts in the city were believed to be the breeding grounds of aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the carrier of the disease, due to an unclean environment and poor sanitary habits.

"These mosquitoes like these places to breed," he said.

The aedes aegypti mosquito also carries dengue fever.

Chikungunya, which originated on the African continent, was first detected in Indonesia in 1973. The first cases were reported in Samarinda, East Kalimantan. The disease then spread to Kuala Tungkal, Martapura, Ternate and Yogyakarta, and later reached other areas across the country.

Avian flu death prompts investigation

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

A woman's death from bird flu a little past midnight Tuesday has prompted a team of health officials to secure her home and surrounding residential area in Kalideres, West Jakarta.

The 24-year-old woman, identified by her initials, DF, died in Cengkareng Hospital, West Jakarta, two weeks after doctors positively diagnosed her with bird flu.

Her death has taken the city's bird flu toll to 24 deaths since the first was recorded July 20, 2005.

The H5N1 virus, the deadliest bird flu strain for humans, has so far killed 94 people and hospitalized around 115 nationally, according to data provided by the Health Ministry.

Indonesia remains top of the list for bird flu cases and deaths globally.

The ministry said it was still trying to determine the exact source of DF's death. Early reports said she may have caught the disease after buying chicken at a nearby market.

The West Jakarta Public Health Sub-agency, in cooperation with the Health Ministry, also sent a team to investigate the source of the disease and to monitor any signs of infection in neighboring residents.

"We have tested 50 people who had been near the victim and thankfully they have all tested negative," sub-agency head Dr. Ariani Murti said.

"We have not seen any signs or symptoms from the people in her immediate area."

Ariani said Kalideres is prone to bird flu because it was "very dirty" and some residents still kept chickens around their houses despite the prohibition by the city administration.

Earlier this year, a boy from the same area also died after becoming infected with bird flu.

He was one of six people living in the neighborhood who contracted bird flu.

Ariani said health services would continue to monitor Kalideres for the rest of the week.

She said her office needed much support from the public and residents to help prevent further infections.

"The people of Kalideres need to, please, stop keeping poultry in their homes, otherwise these cases will keep on occurring," she said.

The second most recent death from bird flu was a businessman identified by initials MS.

On Dec. 2, MS had a fever, acute coughing and respiratory problems. Two weeks later he died in RS Persahabatan Jakarta, East Jakarta. (anw)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

President orders emergency measure to handle Central Java landslides

The Jakarta Post

BANTEN (Antara): President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ordered Wednesday Home Affairs Minister Mardiyanto to take emergency measure and observe the victims of landslides in Tawangmangu, Central Java.

Presidential spokesman Andi Mallarangeng said the president made the instruction after witnessing a tsunami simulation drill on Wednesday.

"The president expressed grief over the disaster and hoped that the task force in the field would be able to restore the condition soon," Andi said.

Andi said the home affairs minister was ordered to visit Tawangmangu as the social affairs minister was still in Aceh on the occasion of the third anniversary of the deadly tsunami which devastated the country's westernmost province on Dec. 26, 2004.

Indonesia reports 94th bird flu death

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - A 24-year-old Indonesian woman has died of bird flu in the capital Jakarta, the health ministry said Wednesday, bringing the toll in the nation worst hit by the H5N1 virus to 94.

"The woman died on Christmas Day early in the morning and tested positive for bird flu," Muhammad Nadhirin, an official with the ministry's bird flu information centre, told AFP.

She tested positive to two laboratory tests, he said. Two tests must be carried out on victims in Indonesia before they are confirmed as being infected with highly pathogenic H5N1.

The woman, identified only by her initials DF, fell sick with bird flu symptoms on December 14 and was admitted to Cengkareng hospital in West Jakarta on December 19, where she later died, Nadhirin said.

"We are still investigating the source of her infection. We haven't got any information on whether she had been in contact with infected poultry," he added.

Humans are typically infected with bird flu by coming into direct contact with infected poultry, but experts fear the H5N1 virus may mutate into a form easily transmissible between humans.

Scientists fear that such a development would likely spark a global pandemic with a potential death toll of millions.

Floods lead to clean water shortages

Jon Afrizal, The Jakarta Post, Jambi

Residents are facing difficulties in obtaining clean water due to floods occurring in various regencies and cities in Jambi province over the past week.

They are unable to use their wells because they have been saturated by floods, forcing people to consume rain water or buy bottled water.

"We have to collect rain water to drink," said a resident in Seberang district in Jambi city, adding he is unsure how long he will keep doing so since the floods have shown no signs of receding.

Children are particularly at risk of being infected by various illnesses, such as skin and respiratory diseases.

Floods have engulfed residents' homes and schools, a number of which were forced to close temporarily.

Sulastri, a teacher at the SDN 104 state elementary school in Legok, Telanaipura district in Jambi city, said the school has been closed since Dec. 23. She said flooding reached the floor of the school even though it was built on a platform.

"Teachers let first and second graders stay home for fear the building might collapse, " said Sulastri.

Floods have also spread to other regencies, such as Muarojambi, Batanghari, Tebo and Bungo, besides Jambi city, inundating hundreds of homes and destroying crops.

The water level of the Batanghari River in Jambi city stood at 13.6 meters, only 27 cm from its highest level of 13.87 meters.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

312 inmates freed on Christmas

JAKARTA (Jakarta Post) : As many as 312 inmates will be freed on good behavior on Christmas, official said Tuesday.

Elshinta radio reported another 7,500 inmates also received reductions in their sentences, ranging from 15 days to two months.

An official at the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights said inmates must recorded good behavior during the past six months to receive the reduction, which is not applicable for those who are on death row or serving life terms.

Sentence reductions are usually granted to inmates in relation with Independence Day celebration in August and in any religious holidays including Idul Fitri and Christmas.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Inclusive education is 'the key' to a more democratic society

The Jakarta Post

Mitra Netra Foundation director Bambang Basuki demonstrated the computer skills of his visually impaired colleagues at an event at the Presidential Palace on Dec. 6, marking the International Day for Persons with Disabilities. The foundation is an NGO that aims to provide services to people with visual impairment through educational programs. It also is a resource center for regular schools with inclusive education. Bambang, who is also visually impaired, met with The Jakarta Post contributor Alpha Amirrachman to talk about the current state's policies for people with disabilities, and inclusive education which he said could enable them to enjoy equal participation in society.

Question: How would you describe the present government's handling of people with disabilities?

Answer: In the past I faced difficulties when I applied for work as a teacher, due to explicit discriminatory regulations that stipulated that teachers must not have disabilities.

In the education sector students with disabilities have been segregated into exclusive schools, which were only available in selected locations, but I think the situation has been gradually improving.

This can be seen, for example, in the 1997 law for people with disabilities and the 2003 national education law.

The regulation for disabled people stipulates that every companies' workforce must comprise at least 1 percent persons with disabilities.

The education law states that people with mental and physical disabilities are entitled to special education, but "special education" can still be interpreted as a segregated education (only for students with disabilities), which effectively separates them from the rest of society.

Under the 2005 regulation on national education standards, however, the government stated the need for specialized teachers in inclusive education, to further integrate disabled persons into the education system. It states that every school with an inclusive education program should have specialized teachers with required competence to handle students with disabilities.

Also the decree made by the director general of elementary and secondary education at the National Education Ministry urged schools to provide inclusive education programs where disabled students require them.

How is all this translated into practice?

The 1 percent quota of staff dedicated for people with disabilities has yet to be completely put into practice.

There are also inadequate resources for schools to effectively adopt the inclusive education policies. Schools still think it would burden them to provide special facilities for students with disabilities.

I believe local administrations should allocate a special budget for schools with an inclusive education policy.

When I was invited to give advice on the formulation of Jakarta's gubernatorial regulation on inclusive education, I managed to insert a clause that schools with inclusive education programs should receive "guidance" from local authorities -- this should also be interpreted as financial assistance, and I hope that all local administrations throughout the country would follow suit.

But there have also been positive signs, with the Education Ministry now providing a grant to the Mitra Netra Foundation, which has provides resources for people with disabilities.

Regular schools can ask for the provision of special teachers and learning resources from us, or from special schools for students with disabilities.

Why do you think inclusive education is better for people with disabilities? Don't these people need special and different treatment?

I'm not saying special schools are unnecessary. Segregated education is still important for certain people who require special treatment, but many students with disabilities are also capable and can learn alongside students at conventional schools and should be socializing with other members of society.

Students can learn to interact with each other and respect their differences from an early age.

I think this could be a key to make our society adopt a more democratic outlook. It is unfortunate that there are still those who believe people with disabilities cannot be productive, which is basically discrimination -- This is a serious threat to inclusive education.

Because of this, we need clear, consistent policies and regulations.

What needs to be improved in inclusive education is: to increase the number and equal distribution of quality resource centers across the country; the provision of a clear status for special education teachers and their chosen career path; designing an effective evaluation system; the provision of an operational budget for resource centers and campaigns; and dissemination of information on policies for regular schools in remote areas, with involvement from local authorities which can accomodate the specific needs of each region.

What do you think is the biggest challenge in dealing with the issue?

I think the biggest challenge is to shift the paradigm within our society that discriminates against people with disabilities, seeing them only as a burden.

We also need to change our perception such that people like us aren't just seen as persons who need special treatment and charity, but as people who can contribute to the betterment of society.

In the past, because of discrimination and prejudice we were never asked to get involved in policy making.

Since this paradigm is difficult to dislodge, we are often forced to make compromises. We have struggled to influence policy makers but what we may perceive as ideal is often hard for others to accept, for a number of reasons, including that we are a poor country and there are many other areas which need immediate attention.

The government has definitely started to include us in its policies, and have increasingly shown to understand that we know exactly what we need.

The recent visit made by Bank Indonesia personnel to Mitra Netra for advice on the production of bills especially designed for people with visual impairment is a good example. Although its results were not entirely satisfactory, because we were not consulted from the outset, it is still an indication of a positive change.

How do you think information and communications technology (ICT) can help to empower people with disabilities?

The development of ICT has been amazing and has enabled people, particularly those with disabilities, to learn new skills.

ICT has proven to be a very useful tool to enhance skills and knowledge, but we need to catch up with developments in this field, otherwise we will be left behind.

Mitra Netra Foundation has produced special software called the Mitra Netra Braille Converter (MBC), the Mitra Netra Electronic Dictionary (MELDICT) and Tactile Graphic Software.

We also produce digital talking books which are cheap and efficient -- users can easily navigate to pages or chapters.

Each year we publish 125 different Braille-based titles and the same number of digital talking books.

Managed by the Indonesian E-Braille Community (KEBI), the database can also be accessed online by the blind, who use special screen reader software.

The screen readers and Braille display software must be imported and is therefore expensive. As yet we have been unable to produce an Indonesian version ... so we would like to see experts help us invent them.

There are also other obstacles; the high cost of Internet connections, the lack of Internet access in many schools and limited supporting government regulations.

7,828 inmates get remission for Christmas

JAKARTA (Jakarta Post) : The government will grant sentence reductions to 7,828 inmates throughout Indonesia for Christmas celebrations, an official said.

"The sentence reductions will be announced at the Kupang Penitentiary in East Nusa Tenggara on Dec. 25," M. Akbar Hadiprabowo, spokesman for the Directorate General of the Correctional Institute at the Justice Ministry, told detik.com on Sunday.

Of the 7,828 inmates, 312 would be freed, and the rest would get sentence reductions ranging from 15 days to two months, Akbar said.

"Those receiving sentence reductions are only Christians and Catholics who have shown good conduct and have served at least six months of their term," he said.

Currently 127,995 inmates are held in penitentiaries throughout Indonesia, numbering 73,686 convicts and 54,309 detainees.

Counseling needed for domestic violence

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Just as victims of domestic violence require post-trauma counseling to heal, experts say psychotherapists need to also reach out to perpetrators to reduce the number of cases.

"Most perpetrators of domestic violence need counseling to help them deal with the impulse to commit violent acts," psychiatrist Surjo Dharmono told a media gathering on Saturday.

"However, one of the biggest challenges in dealing with domestic violence is getting the perpetrators to voluntarily acknowledge their problems and attend therapy sessions."

He said steps such as assisting victims in reporting abuse, providing counseling and advocating legal actions were not sufficient to suppress acts of violence within the home.

"How can we guarantee domestic abusers will not resume their evil ways after serving prison terms without undergoing therapy to rectify their abnormal behavior?" Surjo asked.

He called for legal measures enabling domestic abusers to receive psychiatric help to break the cycle of violence.

"As soon as the judge passes a ruling, there should be an immediate follow-up with respect to counseling," Surjo said.

"This is to ensure that both victims and perpetrators are fully rehabilitated -- not just the victims."

The 2004 law on domestic violence allows judges to pass additional sentences, including a restriction order and an order requiring convicted abusers to undergo counseling under the supervision of accredited bodies.

The provisions, however, have never been exercised in rulings on domestic violence to date.

Rita Kolibonso of Mitra Perempuan (MP), a NGO dedicated to women's issues, told the gathering the impediment to fully enacting the Domestic Violence Law was negligence and ignorance on behalf of the judges.

"Many judges are staunchly conservative when it comes to passing rulings; they basically fail to explore the many legal ruling options now at their disposal," she said.

"The judges can call for experts like psychiatrists to stand witness in a trial to facilitate a ruling oriented at rectifying the behavior of perpetrators, instead of merely punishing them for their crime."

MP reported Saturday that 283 women and children in Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi had contacted the NGO for counseling and legal assistance this year.

It said the number of reports of abuse had slightly decreased from 455 in 2005 to 323 last year.

Purnianti, a criminologist, said social control should be used to prevent violence within the household.

"Negative social control, in which violence orchestrated against women is frowned upon, is a way to discourage potential perpetrators from acting on violent impulses." (amr)

One out of five Denpasar's teens depressed: Survey

Wasti Atmodjo, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar

A recent study suggests one out of five teenagers in Denpasar has suffered from depression or other serious mental illnesses over the last six months.

The survey, conducted by psychiatrist Lely Setyawati at senior high schools in Denpasar, came about after Lely worked with teenagers at Amerta Youth Center, a clinic for teens at Sanglah Hospital.

She said teenagers coming to the clinic were frustrated with various problems, ranging from conflict with parents, boyfriends or girlfriends to inability to escape bad living environments.

In the survey of 500 teens from Denpasar, said Lely, many teens admitted feeling sad and unhappy much of the time.

Others said they were easily tired, had little spirit, found it hard to concentrate, had no self-confidence and felt useless. Many felt uncertain about their futures.

Lely called these feelings the symptoms of serious depression, and said she was surprised by the findings.

"It turned out that almost 20 percent of respondents were suffering from depression. This was beyond my prediction."

She said she planned to expand her survey to other parts of Bali.

"From the survey we at least know the teenage situation in Denpasar is not much different from that in other big cities. The different is, social control is still high in Bali, such as from members of banjar neighborhood unit, making many teenagers slow to display inappropriate behavior.

"Unfortunately, the same social control makes teenagers reluctant to consult psychologists when they are facing problems," Lely said.

Child psychiatrist Endah Ardjana, the teen center's coordinator, said teens were at the age when a person not be considered neither a child nor a grown-up.

"Teenagers are in the transition period," she said. "They often experience unstable mental conditions."

Currently, the center assists youngsters overcome drug addiction, survive physical and sexual abuse and work through premature sexual relations.

Endah said most teens seeking assistance at the center had serious cases of depression, likely due to their feelings of shame in telling their stories or consulting experts.

Both Lely and Endah regularly visit junior and senior high schools to spread awareness on the need to maintain physical and mental health, and to aware of the consequences of sexual activity.

They also inform teens about the center, which promises confidentiality and offers the services of a team of specialists, including gynecologists and psychiatrists.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tsunami issue forces patients in Padang to leave home earlier

Padang, West Sumatra (ANTARA News) - Major earthquake and tsunami issue predicted to destroy West Sumatra province on Sunday morning, forced many patients in some hospitals in Padang to go home although they have yet to complete their medical treatment.

Tens of patients in several general hospitals in the city asked permission from doctor-on-duty to return home earlier due to the issue, information obtained here on Sunday said.

Rita, a staff member of a private-owned hospital confirmed about the patients` request for going home.

The patients have many reasons to go home earlier for fear of the quake and tsunami issue, Rita said, adding that the patients raised the hope from Saturday until Sunday (Dec 22-23).

Only patients with doctor`s permission could go home soon, she added.

Japan to accept 1,000 nurses, care workers from Indonesia: report

Tokyo (ANTARA News) - Japan will accept 1,000 nurses and health care workers from Indonesia from as early as next year under a free trade pact to help ease the country's shortage of such staff, a report said Saturday.

The move will mark the first time Japan has brought in foreign nurses and care workers on a full-time basis, the Nikkei business daily was quoted by AFP as saying.

For two years from April, Japan will annually accept 200 licensed nurses and 300 certified care workers, the newspaper said.

If the programme is well received, the figures may be increased for the third year, the Nikkei said.

Nurses will be limited to staying for three years and care workers for four years on their Indonesian certificates and licences. But they can extend their stay by passing Japanese nursing exams or receiving Japanese caregivers certificates.

The workers will work as assistants at hospitals and nursing care facilities after receiving language training.

The economic pact, signed in August, has already been approved in Indonesia, while Japan's government submitted the measure to the legislature earlier this month with an eye to approval in the current Diet session or early next year.

A similar effort is underway to employ workers from the Philippines, but the economic partnership agreement with that country has yet to take effect, the paper added.

The Japanese health ministry estimates the nation needs 40,000 more nurses, while the shortage is estimated to reach 450,000 to 550,000 by 2014, the Nikkei said.