(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, March 31, 2008

Women unite to promote sanitation in East Jakarta

Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 03/31/2008 10:44 AM 

Female residents of Kampung Pulo, a flood-prone neighborhood in Kampung Melayu subdistrict, East Jakarta, banded together Thursday to determine the cause of their area's frequent floodings and lack of drinkable water. 

The group of about 100 women, mostly comprised of housewives, put aside their daily activities for two hours and put their heads together to find a solution to the water crisis plaguing their poor, densely populated neighborhood.


"We're still mapping the problems and their doable solutions before another meeting next week, when we'll draw up a plan," said Neneng, 53, a mother of three who runs a kiosk selling cellular phones and phone credit vouchers. 

Over the past two months, during the height of the rainy season, the neighborhood, which sits on the banks of the Ciliwung River, has been frequently submerged in floodwater between 50 centimeters and 1.5 meters deep. 

The housewives at the meeting appeared to have all the answers to the problem. 

"It's either dredging the waste-clogged river or building embankment walls. Of course, no more throwing garbage into the river. 

"But the main problem, we think, is neither the lack of money or tools to do it, but rather a lack of awareness among residents, especially men," Neneng said. 

Thanks to Quadrant Utama, an NGO which has provided advocacy and education on water, sanitation and environmental issues since 2005, the 100 women who regularly attend the NGO's discussion classes have become aware of their right to clean water and proper sanitation. 

The women have also taken action to mobilize residents to clean up the neighborhood before the rainy season starts and after flooding. 

Quadrant team leader Rossy said the women had started to question the role of the government in protecting their rights. 

"They realized it was no use waiting around for the government to help alleviate the problem, so they agreed they would be better off taking matters into their own hands," she told The Jakarta Post on the sidelines of the discussion. 

The meeting's attendees said there was a lack of clean, affordable water sources in the neighborhood. 

Many of the women, those who work as clothes washers or snack sellers in front of their homes because their husbands are unemployed, can not afford tap water subscriptions and cited the alternative groundwater as oily and contaminated with household waste. 

An alternative for them is to buy a 15 liter water container costing Rp 3,500 (US 30 cents) which can sustain a family for two days, and kerosene priced at Rp 5,000 per liter to boil the water. 

"We have received the central government's free package of gas stoves and 3-kilogram cylinders of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), but most of the residents can not operate them for fear of a possible explosion, so we still rely on kerosene as cooking fuel," said Ade Effendi, a community chief in the neighborhood. 

The government is phasing out the much-subsidized kerosene in households and micro businesses, replacing it with LPG. 

"Fewer and fewer residents take water from the river to cook or to drink, while the number of occurrences of sanitation-related diseases, including diarrhea and dengue fever, has dropped," said Mohamad Yunus, another community chief in the area. 

There is still a long way to go before residents can treat their own water sources for safe consumption. 

"We haven't reached the point where they can take the initiative themselves to treat the water because one or two of them continue to bleach the river water they use to wash dishes and vegetables. But they are getting there," said Dewi, a Quadrant tutor.

Bird flu kills two more, Indonesia toll at 107

The Bangkok Post

Jakarta (dpa) - Two more Indonesians, a boy and a girl, have died from bird flu, bringing the country's human death toll from the H5N1 strain of the deadly virus to 107, the highest in the world, the Health Ministry announced on Monday.

The 15-year-old boy, identified only as AGY from the West Java district of Subang, died on March 26 at Hasan Sadikin Hospital in the provincial capital of Bandung, said the Health Ministry on its website.

It said the boy developed symptoms on March 19 and sought medical treatment in Subang's Public hospital on March 22 and then he was transferred to Hasan Sadikin hospital four days later, where he dead on the same day.

Another victim, a 12-year-old girl, identified only as Zah, from West Java's Bekasi district, just east of Jakarta, died on March 28 at Jakarta's Persahabatan Hospital, which is designated to treat bird-flu patients in the capital city and surrounding areas, the Health Ministry said.

Zah developed symptoms on March 19, and was brought to Persahabatan Hospital on March 27 with a cough and fever. She died one day after being treated there.

Laboratory tests confirmed the two had the H5N1 strain of bird flu, the ministry said.

Investigation teams were deployed by the Health Ministry and found out that the two had a history of direct contact with chickens, it said, adding that three chickens died at the boy's neighbours' homes.

The Health Ministry said a one-year-old baby girl from West Sumatra district of Bukittinggi was also confirmed to have been infected with the bird flu virus, but she was in a stable condition at a local hospital. A ventilator was used to help her to breath.

The latest deaths of the two bring Indonesia's bird-flu death toll to 107, among the 132 diagnosed human cases of H5N1, the strain of bird flu that can be deadly in people. Both figures are the highest in the world.

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization warned recently that Indonesia's bird-flu situation remains "critical" and a high circulation of the virus that causes it could lead to mutations and threaten humans.

Before the latest deaths in Indonesia, the World Health Organization had confirmed at least 236 deaths in 12 countries in Asia and Africa.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Indonesian police probe 23 deaths linked to drink

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Police on Indonesia's Sumatra island said on Friday they were investigating the deaths of 23 people after they drank a beverage made of fermented pineapple.

Police seized 7,000 bottles of the drink from its factory in Jambi province and were questioning factory and shop owners, said provincial police spokesman Yatim Suyatmo.

The victims all died in the last two weeks although the factory had produced the drink locally for years, he said.

"We still don't know whether the victims had mixed the drink with another concoction to make its effects stronger," he said, adding the label stated that the drink contains less than 1 percent of alcohol.

Many areas of Indonesia have traditional fermented drinks made from fruit or other ingredients.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

World Food Program Donates US$ 98 Million to Indonesia

Tuesday, 25 March, 2008 | 15:31 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare, Aburizal Bakrie, and the World Food Program (WFP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for food assistance yesterday. The agreement is aimed to help and rehabilitate the nutrition in Indonesia by extending the assistance and restoration program.

The agreement will be ongoing for three years until December 2010 with total funding of US$ 98 million, including US$ 56 million for food and US$ 42 million for operational costs.

The funding will be to improve nutrition for ages 24-60 months; pregnant women; breast-feeding mothers, and children aged 6-13 years old, and provide additional food for tuberculosis patients and poor families. The funding is also aimed at and sanitation and government assistance for natural disasters. “There is total of 845 million people that will benefit from this program,” said Aburizal, accompanied by WFP Director for Indonesia, Angela van Rynbach.

The effort to overcome starvation and malnutrition is one phase to achieve the Millenium Development Goals (MDG's). “Sufficient food is important to alleviate poverty,” he said.

The food commodities will be distributed to three provinces of West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, and East Java. The commodities contain rice (58,432 tons), cooking oil (2,484 tons), biscuits (15,524 tons), instant noodles (6,764 tons), and wheat (42,137 tons).

The first phase of the program that goes through March, has been focused on malnutrition prevention, food rehabilitation for pregnant and breast-feeding women, recovery for TB patients, sufficient food in poor areas, and capacity building for related institutions.


City to start intensive anti-birdflu program

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 03/25/2008 12:43 AM 

The Jakarta administration and the national bird flu committee plan to intensify the bird flu prevention and control program in the capital, which will include strict monitoring of the poultry industry.

"The program has 10 items on its agenda, including the restructuring of the poultry business, regular cleaning of the poultry section at markets, minimizing transportation of poultry and enacting stricter regulations on the live chicken trade," Adnan Ahmad, head of veterinary health at the Jakarta Agriculture, Husbandry and Maritime Agency, said Monday.

He was speaking to reporters after a coordination meeting between the city administration and the National Committee for Avian Influenza Control and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (Komnas FPBI).

The meeting was also attended by officials from the husbandry division at the Agriculture Ministry and from health agencies in Greater Jakarta.

Adnan said a 2007 city bylaw on poultry would regulate the live poultry trade and reduce the number of poultry slaughterhouses in the city starting in 2010.

In the future, poultry in the city will be kept and killed at one appointed slaughterhouse in each of the city's five municipalities, Adnan said.

Currently there are 259 poultry shelters and around 1,000 slaughterhouses processing approximately 400,000 chickens each day for consumption by Jakarta residents.

He said it was necessary to localize poultry and separate them from residents in order to curtail the spread of bird flu, which has claimed 105 lives throughout the archipelago in the past four years.

Komnas FPBI chairman Bayu Krisna Murthi said the program is focused on Greater Jakarta because that is where 70 percent of the country's bird flu deaths have occurred.

"More than half of the country's bird flu cases have happened in Jakarta and Tangerang," he said.

Bayu said research indicated the possibility of three new groups of bird flu virus strains, in addition to the already existing three groups, in the area.

"But further investigation has yet to prove their definite spread," said Bayu.

The program also aims to clear residences of free-roaming poultry, train doctors and nurses at local health clinics and private hospitals to deal with bird flu cases, hold public information campaigns, make preparations for a possible pandemic and continue the on-going research into the virus and vaccines.

The committee calculates that since 2004, bird flu has caused financial losses of around Rp 4.1 trillion (US$446 million).

This calculation is based on the value of exterminated chickens, decreasing demand and consumption of poultry commodities, additional costs suffered by the government and farmers to handle the disease and also losses suffered by other sectors, especially tourism. (dre)

RI Health minister warns of TB's deadly reach

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta   |  Tue, 03/25/2008 12:43 AM 

Tuberculosis has spread to almost parts of Indonesia, putting it just behind China and India among countries seeing the highest rates of new cases each year, the health minister said Monday.

"The spread of tuberculosis spares almost no region in Indonesia," Minister Siti Fadillah Supari was quoted by Antara as saying in a written statement to mark International TB Day in Bali.

The minister said there were no fewer than 500,000 new tuberculosis cases every year in Indonesia. 

Almost all the new cases are communicable, she said, which had led the disease to spread to almost all regions of the archipelago.

The minister's address was read out by I Nyoman Kandun, director general for disease control and sanitation affairs, at the Krobokan penitentiary in Kuta, Badung.

Siti said the country with the most new tuberculosis sufferers every year was India, with 815,000, followed by China with 595,000.

On the global scale, the number of new tuberculosis patients was 9.2 million in 2006, 1.7 million of whom died, the minister said.

Siti said domestically the highest TB rates -- 210 cases per 100,000 people -- were recorded in eastern Indonesia, covering Kalimantan, Papua, Maluku, West and East Nusa Tenggara.

Medium rates of the disease were found across Sumatra with 160 cases per 100,000 people, while Java and Bali saw the lowest rates with 64 per 100,000.

The minister said preventive measures had managed to reduce TB cases from 128 per 100,000 people in 1998 to 115 per 100,000 in 2003.

In 2006, the number had further fallen to 105, she added.

The health minister said she hoped the new cases would decline in line with the increasing awareness of the importance of maintaining human health and environmental cleanliness.

At the same event, Justice and Human Rights Minister Andi Matalatta said a total of 116 prisoners and detainees in prisons across Indonesia died of tuberculosis in 2007.

"TB is the number two killer disease among prison inmates in Indonesia after AIDS/HIV," he said.

Andi said the majority of prisoners and detainees who died of TB and AIDS/HIV also had a history of drug addiction.

The minister said he hoped all prisoners and detainees could benefit from the "Healthy Indonesia 2010" program.

Under the program, the government has tried to curb the spread of TB, AIDS/HIV and other deadly diseases in prisons and other detention centers, the justice minister said.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Villagers team up with government to fight bird flu

Dicky Christanto , The Jakarta Post , Denpasar | Wed, 03/19/2008 12:19 AM

Through a series of workshops on Avian Influenza detection and prevention, villagers in Bali have joined forces with a team comprising local administration officials, virologists and UNESCO in fighting bird flu virus.

The program has also given poultry cages made from special nets worth Rp 1.2 million (US$160.60) to local breeders in three villages, Takmung in Klungkung regency, Banyubiru in Negara and Beraban in Tabanan.

"We want to encourage villagers to set up quick response mechanisms ... because the virus actually isn't that lethal. There are ways of preventing it from entering the human body," bird flu expert from Udayana University I Gusti Ngurah Mahardika told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

"The most important thing is whether we can increase public awareness. That is why we have to inform and educate people so they can stop the spread of the virus by themselves."

He said a workshop series had been organized for villagers on topics ranging from stopping the spread of the virus to proper ways to prepare and cook poultry and early symptoms of infection.

"People need basic know-how on this subject so they can put it make it a part of daily habits."

The three villages selected because they had been exposed to the virus in the past. Bird flu has killed a significant number of poultry in Takmung and Banyubiru, while Beraban has reported one human fatality.

Around the country, the virus has claimed 105 lives -- out of 129 reported bird flu cases.

Shinta Yuristari MD, a local physician at the Beraban village health center, said at the state of early symptoms the disease was curable. Therefore she encouraged people who became aware of possible symptoms to report immediately to a village health center.

"We keep telling people there is no need to be afraid, ashamed or embarrassed. If you have symptoms like a high fever, please immediately report to us at the health center before it's too late."

She said the health center had drugs for treating bird flu infection.

Head of Beraban village Made Sumawa said he had established a working team tasked with monitoring the existence of the virus on a daily basis. The team comprising local officials and community leaders monitors poultry at traditional markets.

The team has also monitored and inspected the poultry supply entering the village from neighboring regencies.

"We have guarded every door to the village. I hope there will be no headlines about the virus here," Sumawa said.

He said the village administration had issued a local regulation require villagers to relocate poultry away from houses. The rule also makes it mandatory for the farmers to keep birds inside cages.

"We have a team of shooters patrolling the streets to enforce this regulation. When the team encounters a roaming chicken or duck ... it takes necessary measures, including shooting it."

He said the local administration had also warned people to take serious precautions against the virus as it could jeopardize the village's tourism industry. Beraban lies near Tanah Lot temple, one of the island's top attractions.

Beraban resident Wayan Wartika praised the quick response of local administration, saying it had helped increase local awareness of the danger of the virus.

"People have begun practicing the things they learned in the workshops and through the regulation. They understand the threat of the virus."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Shame, anxiety keep women from taking Pap test

Agnes Winarti , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Mon, 03/17/2008 12:07 PM

Fifty-year-old Prapti recalled the day decades ago when her friends had to bring her step-by-step to a gynecologist, but on the doctor's doorstep, she changed her mind and ran away.

For Prapti, fainting every month during her period was more bearable than facing a stranger examining her private parts.

Years later, when Prapti turned 35, she eventually went to a gynecologist and took a Pap test because the pain had outgrown her fear, and a tumor was found which forced Prapti to have her uterus removed.

"Back then, I thought it was shameful to have your private parts examined by a stranger. Now, I can say the shame is nothing compared to the health risks (of not getting tested)," said the former journalist, who will turn 50 this year.

Most educated women know the Pap smear is an affordable and simple method for early detection of cervical cancer, the second biggest killer of cancers among Indonesian women.

Many, however, remain reluctant to undergo regular Pap smear screening due to psychological blocks.

"Most women realize cervical cancer is deadly. They also know about Pap tests, but are they willing to take the test? That is another matter," an oncologist specializing in anatomy pathology at the Dharmais Cancer Hospital, Dr. Evelina Suzanna, told The Jakarta Post.

Dr. Evelina said women should take Pap tests two years after their first sexual contact at the very latest. Women who have had sexual contact involving penis penetration into the vagina should take the test, she said. Penetration of any other kind, for example fingers which had previously touched a penis, could also pose a risk.

A thirty-something mother of two, who requested anonymity, said she was totally aware of the dangers of cervical cancer.

"I also know my family history of cancer puts me at a higher risk. But for now I would rather ignore it -- I'm not ready for the results if I ever take the test."

"You know what? None of the female officials at the Health Ministry, responsible for the reproductive health campaign, have taken Pap tests," Dr Evelina said.

"Less than 2 percent of female doctors at Dharmais Hospital have ever come to me for a Pap test," the oncologist said.

Between 1993 and 2000, cervical cancer patients made up 13 to 15 percent of the total number of cancer patients at Dharmais Cancer Hospital, making it the number one cancer killing women in Indonesia. During that period, breast cancer came second with 11 percent.

Since 2001, cases of cervical cancer which result in deaths have declined and are now less common than breast cancer.

"However, the occurrences of cervical cancer have increased 15 to 20 percent among all cancers found in Indonesia," said Dr. Evelina, also the coordinator of the future National Cancer Data Center at Dharmais Cancer Hospital, West Jakarta.

A 2006 report from four main hospitals in Jakarta (Dharmais, Sumber Waras, Persahabatan and Pasar Rebo) reported that cervical cancer accounted for 15 percent of the total number of cancer cases (in both male and female patients), second to breast cancer which stood at 30 percent.

"Good education is no guarantee women are aware of cervical cancer. These women may have extensive knowledge in other fields, but many don't understand their own organs," Obstetric gynecology consultant Dr. Dwiana Ocviyanti (known as Dr. Ocvi) said Friday at the Annual National Cancer Symposium.

Data from one of the Indonesian Cancer Foundation (YKI)'s early detection clinics showed promising signs for Pap test's popularity.

"Around 45 percent of patients coming to get Pap tests done at our clinic each month are first timers," YKI's central clinic (Menteng) head, Dr. Utari, told the Post on Monday.

The clinic receives some 400 patients for pap smear screening each month.

Pap tests are currently available in all hospitals, most clinics and eight public health centers (Puskesmas) in the city. The tests cost between Rp 35,000 and Rp 150,000 depending on the location and doctor.

Pap tests are still the most affordable way to deal with cervical cancer.

There is a new HPV vaccine, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June 2006. The vaccine is still costly, however, selling for between Rp 900,000 and Rp 1 million each shot. A patient needs three shots to complete the vaccination.

Dr. Ocvi said "Screening is still important. Vaccines do not negate screening. Ideally, women should have both."

More concern over bird flu virus

Emmy Fitri , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Wed, 03/19/2008 12:20 AM

A senior Health Ministry official on Tuesday dismissed fears of a virus reassortment between avian and human seasonal influenza strains in a 2007 human death involving bird flu infection.

Director General of Communicable Diseases I Nyoman Kandun said the possibility of reassortment between the avian influenza virus -- H5N1 -- and other flu viruses was always possible, but had not yet happened.

"When and where it will happen, nobody knows. Risk assessment therefore is very important," Kandun said.

Reassortment of the highly pathogenic avian influenza and seasonal flu virus would give birth to a "new" virus that could be easily transmitted from human to human, resulting in a pandemic.

Scientific journal Cidrap has quoted researcher Vivi Setiawaty of the Center for Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Research and Development as saying a 16-year-old Indonesian girl died of co-infection between seasonal and avian strains of influenza in April 2007.

The girl tested positive for flu under the Health Ministry's flu-surveillance system, which was established in 2005 shortly after the country reported its first bird flu infection in a human.

The girl had shown flu symptoms for several days before she was treated for an infectious disease in East Jakarta. She was reported to have mild symptoms, including sore throat, cough and body aches, but displayed neither respiratory problems nor signs of pneumonia.

Throat and nasal-swab samples that were taken on the sixth day of her symptoms tested positive by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for both avian influenza H5N1 and the seasonal flu strain H3N2.

The test results were confirmed by the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology in Jakarta.

Cidrap said the girl's case occurred within the period when the Indonesian government ceased sharing flu isolates with the international laboratory overseen by the World Health Organization.

"Such infections are of great concern due to the possibility of genetic reassortment leading to the emergence of a H5N1 strain that is more easily transmitted human to human, and emphasizes the importance of advanced laboratory-based surveillance in geographic regions where both human and avian influenza viruses are co-circulating," Cidrap reported.

Asked about the finding, Kandun said Indonesia needed to strengthen its surveillance system, including laboratory capacity.

A virologist and microbiologist at Udayana University in Denpasar, I Gusti Ngurah Mahardhika, said the co-infection involving the girl most likely was not the first such case in Indonesia because researchers used to focus only on H5N1 and did not check for the presence of other H viruses.

"Global fear of a new virus from such a co-infection is well grounded, I think. The product of a reassortment between H5N1 and H3N2 can be still in the form of H5N1 but with traits of H3N2. The new H5N1 is virulent and has the capacity to transmit from human to human like H3N2, our seasonal flu virus," he said.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

RI mouths decaying the economy, says dental group

Desy Nurhayati , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Tue, 03/18/2008 1:13 AM

Most people don't pay enough attention to their teeth and oral health and only visit the dentist when they begin to feel pain, the Indonesian Dentists Association says.

Lack of awareness has lead to an increase in dental and oral-related illnesses which have disrupted people's lives, the association says.

Tooth disease, including cavities and decay, has become widespread and is currently suffered by around 60 percent of the population, association chairman Emmyr F. Moeis said Monday.

"Around 62.4 percent of Indonesians are disturbed by tooth and oral problems which has the potential to cause the economy to suffer," he said.

Emmyr was speaking at the opening of the 23rd National Congress of Dentists, presided over by Vice President Jusuf Kalla. The congress, themed "Excellence and Innovation in Public Dentistry", will be held in Surabaya, East Java, between March 19 and 22.

According to a survey by the association in 2001, toothaches caused the average Indonesian to lose 3.86 workdays a month, he said.

"This condition has affected people's per-capita income," he said.

An employer with a star-rated hotel in Jakarta, Ahmad Junaidi, said not many employees had taken leave due to a toothache.

"Maybe there were one or two, but we don't check case by case," he said.

He said he had never seen a sick-leave note from a doctor stating an employee needed days off because of a toothache.

Caries, or tooth decay, is the most common tooth disease and can create an entrance for other more problematic diseases.

Around 70 percent of people aged above 10 years experienced tooth decay, a survey conducted by the Health Ministry found. Decay was recorded in some 43.9 percent of 12-year-olds, 51.1 percent of 18-year-olds, 80.1 percent of 35 to 44-year-olds and 96.7 percent of people over the age of 65.

In his opening speech, Kalla urged dentists to improve their services by giving thorough explanations and paying more attention to patients.

Kalla acknowledged the inadequate number of specialist doctors (including dentists), and said the government expected the number to grow to cope with the country's increasing population.

More specialists, he said, should improve the availability and quality of services.

There are currently some 16,786 practicing dentists nationwide registered with the Indonesian Doctors Council. The dental association says the country needs around 22,500 dentists.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

HIV/AIDS cases skyrocket in Yogyakarta: Health office

Slamet Susanto and Nethy Dharma Somba , The Jakarta Post , Yogyakarta, Jayapura | Wed, 03/12/2008 1:33 AM

The number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Yogyakarta jumped from 20 in 2002 to 393 in September last year, provincial health office head Bondan Agus Suryanto said Tuesday.

Bondan attributed the sharp increase in HIV/AIDS infections to more people having unprotected sex outside of monogamous relationships and the sharing of needles among young drug users.

"Most of those infected by the deadly virus belong to the productive age group of 15 to 30 years. Most of them were infected through heterosexual sex and the sharing of syringes," Bondan said during a break at a seminar on HIV/AIDS.

He warned that HIV/AIDS infections in the city had reached alarming levels, and immediate action was needed to halt the trend.

He said about 5 percent of the infections involved prostitutes, transvestites and others who engaged in high-risk sexual activities.

He said Yogyakarta's position as both a tourism destination and the site of numerous universities resulted in their being more high-risk sexual activities in the city.

"As a tourism city, one of its negative impacts is the rise in loose sexual behavior. At the same time a lot of young people live in Yogyakarta."

He also warned the official figure for HIV/AIDS infections was likely far lower than the actual number. "The real number could be 10 times that."

The coordinator of a group campaigning against regional rules outlawing red-light district, Enik Maslalah, said the moral approach to fighting HIV/AIDS had proven ineffective.

"Prevention efforts should not deal mainly with the moral approach, but with cultural and structural problems," Enik said.

Robert Sihombing, an HIV/AIDS activist with the Jayapura Support Group in Papua, said Tuesday the application of the OraQuick advanced HIV antibody test for use with oral fluids had proven to be ineffective, because the results had to be confirmed using standard blood tests.

"If the OraQuick test results have to be confirmed with the existing blood test, what is the use of the tests?" Sihombing asked.

He said since blood tests were more effective for determining HIV/AIDS status, the OraQuick kits were not needed in Papua.

Sihombing made the remarks in response to the arrival in Jayapura of at least 30,000 OraQuick test kits, whose expiration dates are in June, from the Health Ministry in Jakarta.

The kits are still being stored in warehouses by the Papuan provincial health office because of a lack of funds for their distribution.

"Even if there was money for their distribution, many of the kits will be useless, as it is impossible to distribute the 30,000 kits in Papua within two months," provincial health office head Bagus Sukaswara said.

He said the introduction of the OraQuick test kits would be a waste of funds.

"Why should we be given new test kits? Why don't we just intensify the old system, which has not been properly utilized?" Bagus said

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Leprosy on the rise due to poor sanitation in West Java

Yuli Tri Suwarni , The Jakarta Post , Bandung | Tue, 03/11/2008 11:03 AM

The number of lepers has nearly doubled and the disease has spread to almost every regency and city in West Java over the past year, due to poor sanitation, a health official said Monday.

West Java Health Office environmental health division head Wahyu Suryaputra said his office recorded 2,579 people suffering leprosy in 24 of 25 regencies and cities in 2007, compared to only 1,582 cases recorded in the previous year.

"Sanitation and environmental factors have added to the rising number of leprosy cases in West Java," Wahyu said in Bandung.

Based on data from the health office, only Cimahi city is free of the disease. Leprosy is caused by mycobacterium leprae bacillus mycobacterium, similar to that which causes tuberculosis, which has an incubation period of three to five years.

Leprosy is prevalent in Bogor, Bekasi, Sukabumi, Karawang, Subang, Indramayu and Cirebon regencies and Bekasi city, with each recording more than 200 cases. Bogor, Karawang and Indramayu are among the areas most affected, with 293, 285 and 274 cases, respectively. Banjar and Cianjur regencies have just five cases each.

"We must raise our awareness of environmental hygiene in order to curb the disease," Wahyu said.

Most lepers are underprivileged and live in densely populated areas which have poor sanitation.

They are usually ostracized by the community, so it becomes difficult for them to stop the disease. Most sufferers seek treatment only when their condition worsens, after they suffer physical deformity.

Early detection expedites cure, Wahyu said. Leprosy is characterized by symptoms resembling skin ailments, in which reddish spots appear on affected parts of the body.

The disease causes numbness and in acute cases causes permanent physical deformities, muscular atrophy and mutilation, if medical treatment is not given immediately.

The disease is curable with proper medication, within one year after contraction.

The number of lepers in West Java declined to 1,854 in 2002, but rose to more than 2,000 in 2004 before dropping again in 2006.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Herbal medicine expected to soar this year

Aditya Suharmoko , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Mon, 03/10/2008 1:20 AM

Herbal medicine, known locally known as jamu, has become increasingly popular recently as global consumer trends turn to nature and 'old wisdom' in search of cures.

Indonesia's major herbal consumers and producers are likely to see jamu getting a stronger foothold this year, with growing demands from both domestic and export markets as well as government support, the jamu association says.

"The jamu industry has good potential for development, with an annual growth of around 20 percent," said Charles Saerang, chairman of the Indonesian Herbal and Traditional Medicines Entrepreneurs Association (GP Jamu).

This year, he said, the country's herbal medicines industry could reach total sales of Rp 5 trillion (US$550.96 million), up 20 percent from Rp 4 trillion in 2007.

As for exports, jamu entrepreneurs have aimed to double last year's US$4 million of exports.

Nyonya Meneer and Sido Muncul, the two largest jamu producers in Indonesia, which export to destinations including Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and the Netherlands, both plan to diversify their export destinations this year.

Another reason to be positive about jamu sales and exports, Charles said, was the new found government support that recently registered copyright for jamu as an Indonesian trademark.

"The government and industry have agreed that 'Jamu' should be recognized as an Indonesian trademark. As the next step, the government must promote jamu to the world," he said.

China's herbal medicine industry grew significantly after it began to get support from the Chinese government, he added.

As its first steps to promote jamu to the rest of the world, the Indonesian government plans to hold an international symposium on Temulawak (Curcuma xanthorrhiza) in late May and an international exhibition on jamu next year.

More than 80 percent of the country's total population (220 million) have consumed jamu--a really huge target market, GP Jamu says.

"In Malaysia, almost half the population consume traditional medicine. Imagine if this happened in Indonesia," Charles said.

Sido Muncul president director Irwan Hidayat believed the country's jamu industry could be developed further.

"Some pharmaceutical companies have introduced semi herbal medicine to cure colds (masuk angin) to compete with jamu. This shows the jamu industry has a huge market," he said.

Currently, Indonesia has some 1,243 jamu producers, 129 of which are large-scale producers. The rest are small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating mostly in East and Central Java.

SMEs contribute around 20 percent of the total annual jamu sales nationally.

The industry could employ at least 3 million workers per year, Charles said.

"This number could increase, considering more and more Indonesians take jamu."

He also said the industry planned to acquire more land in East and Central Java because farmers could grow herbs there more easily.

Jamu producers have become more creative with products and packaging, like selling jamu in syrup form. The rising price of medicine has also helped to sway consumers toward traditional medicine, Charles said.

The future, however, was not all rosy for jamu, as producers were challenged to make products that comply with standards set by the Drugs and Food Monitoring Agency (BPOM), he said.

Currently, only 10 out of 1,243 jamu producers produce "quality" herbal medicine.

Many unauthorized herbal medicines are distributed nationwide and could threaten the growth of the jamu industry, Charles said.

Sales Performance: - 2006 Rp 3 trillion - 2007 Rp 4 trillion - 2008 Rp 5 trillion (forecast)

Export: - 2007 US$4 million - 2008 US$8 million (forecast)

Big Players: - Martha Tilaar - Mustika Ratu - Sido Muncul - Nyonya Meneer - Jamu Jago

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Whirlwind destroys 294 houses in West Java

Sukabumi (ANTARA News) - Whirlwind devastated at least 294 houses, school and local hospital buildings at Sukabumi district, West Java province, on Friday at 16:15 pm local time, leaving no victims.

The afternoon whirlwind which damaged three villages at Parung Kuda sub district had cost the local population material loss amounting to Rp 369 million, said the sub district officer Tendy Hendrayana.

Hendrayana reported that the whirlwind which struck Bojongkokosan, Langensari as well as Kompa villages, had left hundreds of buildings without electricity for hours.

The local government officers accompanied with villagers had been repairing the devastated buildings, he said.

To date, Sukabumi government and Indonesian Red Crescent Institute (BSMI) had been contributing 600 kg of rice as well as medicines and instant noodles to the villagers.

We urged the government to distribute the assistances to correct the situation, Hendrayana said.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Five people die of malnutrion in NTT

Yemris Fointuna , The Jakarta Post , Kupang | Sat, 03/08/2008 1:27 AM

At least five people, including three aged under five, died recently from malnutrition in Rote Ndao, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), following government "financial difficulties".

Head of the Rote Ndao health office Jonathan Lenggu said the victims suffered from complications such as diarrhea, tuberculosis and high fever that led to their deaths.

"Malnourished people are quite prone to diseases such as diarrhea, TB and dengue because they have low immunity," he said Thursday.

Lenggu said three of the victims died this week and two last week, but gave no other details.

Head of health issues at the provincial government, Maxi Taopan, said the five dead had been suffering from malnutrition for a long time, but the local government had not been able to respond immediately because of a "financial problem".

"After the central government ended financial assistance in 2007, malnutrition has become uncontrollable. Still, the province has proposed an allocation of Rp 56 billion to address the issue," he said.

He called on the coordinating minister for people's welfare to visit the regency to assess poverty and malnutrition.

"If the government accepts our request, we will use the funds to supply food to poor families and revitalize women's and children's health posts in rural areas across the province," he said.

Up to 90,000 of the 497,577 children aged under five in the province are suffering from malnutrition, and 12,400 have had complications, according to the provincial government's 2008 data.

Taopan said the highest number of malnutrition sufferers with clinical disorders was found in North Timor Tengah, with 81 patients being treated in clinics and hospitals, followed by 27 in West Sumba and 13 in Rote Ndao.

"The highest frequency is in South Timor Tengah with 12,971 sufferers, followed by more than 8,400 in Sikka, 8,300 in Manggarai, 7,200 in North Timor Tengah and 6,800 in Kupang," he said.

Government Refuses to Reveal Brand of Milk with Bacteria

Wednesday, 05 March, 2008 | 18:29 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The government still will not reveal the brand of milk contaminated by Enterobacterer Sakazakii bacteria.

This is because the milk researched by the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB) was milk produced in 2003 that is no longer in the market.

“I don't think this is necessary because it wouldn’t be fair on the milk producer, and it could make it difficult for people to obtain milk”, said the Minister of Health, Siti Fadilah Supari, at the Presidential office yesterday (4/3).

She was responding to the requirement of Seto Mulyadi, head of the National Commission on Children’s Protection (KPAI), for government to reveal the milk suspected to be assumed contaminated by Enterobacterer Sakazakii bacteria.

Regarding the commission's warning to sue the government for concealing the milk brand, Siti would only say, “I don't know”.

During a meeting with the Health Commission of the House of Representatives (DPR), the Association of Indonesian Veterinarians complained that the IPB research team –a team of veterinarians–did not have the right to research powdered milk and food for babies because veterinary science is related to diseases in animals and food for animals.

“There are 156 kinds of Zoonosi disease that can be transferred from animals to humans and visa versa,” said Wiwiek Bagja, Chairperson of Association of Indonesian Veterinarian in the meeting led by Ribka Tjiptaning, the commission head from the of Indonesian Democratic Party faction.

Bagja said he regretted there was suspicion of commercial or political interest in the research when it should be examined objectively and appreciated as a way to provide more protection to consumers.

Dr. Mangku Sitepu, a veterinarian, whose diploma is in milk hygienic from Denmark, mentioned during the same forum that only 40 babies in the entire world had ever been infected by Enteroboacterer Sakazakii bacteria.

“And these were babies born prematurely, under weight or from an HIV-infected mother”, said Sitepu, a member of the National Bird Flu Commission.

FANNY FEBIANA | Aqida Swamurti | Sudrajat

Friday, March 7, 2008

Foreign fishing crews in Tual liven up island economy

A section in the central market of the backwater Tual Island in Maluku seems to be detached from the surrounding bustle.

The Jakarta Post | Thu, 03/06/2008 1:22 AM

While many outsiders say the expensive goods drive away buyers from this section, locals blame the police.

They say this section of the market was severely affected by a police crackdown on illegal fishing in the waters of Tual in late November. The section had become a regular spot for foreign crew members of fishing vessels to shop for supplies, vendors said.

"Before the crackdown, this part of the market was always packed with Thai and Vietnamese crew members. A lot of locals made ends meet by supplying foreign crews," resident Upang Bugis told The Jakarta Post in early January.

Upang used to help transport supplies from the market to the fishing vessels.

Although fishing vessels operating in the surrounding seas mostly fly Indonesian flags, the captains and crews are mostly from Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar, while the Indonesians are only tasked with petty work, police say.

When police seized 14 fishing vessels for alleged poaching just off Tual and Benjina islands last Nov. 26 and Dec. 7, 306 crew members from Thailand, two from Myanmar and 18 from Indonesia were arrested.

The employment of these foreign crew members violates existing fishing regulations, which stipulate that an Indonesian flagged fishing vessel must have 70 percent locals among its crew.

However, the police and the fisheries ministry blame the ministry of manpower and transmigration for failing to supervise employment on fishing vessels.

"Most residents here are so dependent on income from foreign fishing crews they no longer bother about not getting chances to work on fishing vessels," said Maluku Tenggara Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Ony Budyo Suswanto.

He estimated around 70 percent of the 90,000 natives of Tual Island either worked as traditional fishermen or provided supplies and services to crews of the vessels who regularly came to the island.

Following concerns that foreign crews would no longer stop by in Tual, dozens of residents staged a rally protesting the police raids on fishing vessels.

"Residents and some local legislators came to the police to protest the detentions. They claimed the arrests would scare off foreign fishermen from coming to Tual to buy food," said Ony.

Tual is the capital of Maluku Tenggara regency in Maluku. The island is around a two-hour flight from Maluku's capital Ambon.

The island can also be reached in four days on a passenger vessel operated by state-owned shipping company PT Pelni from East Java's capital Surabaya.

Fishing vessels, crewed mostly by foreigners, often stop at Tual to upload supplies or, ideally, download their catches to a local processing plant after weeks of fishing on the Arafura Sea, a hotbed for poachers, according to the National Police.

When the Post visited the island, the uploading activities of illegally collected fish directly to foreign trampers had become a daily sight at all ports on Tual Island.

Lack of supervision and the island's remote location seem to have created a haven for illegal fishing activities.

The Arafura Sea, where Tual is the main fishing harbor, attracts international poaching syndicates due to its abundant reserves and quality of the fish, according to the director general for supervision at the ministry of fisheries and marine affairs, Aji Sularso.

The sea is around 1,290 kilometers long and 560 kilometers wide, stretching between Papua and Australia.

"The (Arafura) sea is a meeting point between warm and cold waters. The quality and the types of fish there are unmatchable," said Aji, adding that poachers, mostly from Thailand and China, had been operating there since the 1980s.

The National Police's deputy director for special crimes, Sr. Comr. Sadar Sebayang, said a fishing vessel operating in Arafura could net fish worth at least Rp 20 billion per catch, while income received by the regency reached only around Rp 8 billion annually in the form of local fees.

The police believe some 5,088 fishing vessels above 30 gross tons are operating in the country's eastern waters, with most of the vessels regularly harboring in Tual.

Aside from providing supplies, Tual residents also provide nightlife spots for foreign crews seeking rest and recreation after weeks of struggle on the open sea.

When the Post visited the island, there were around five brothels operating in an area dubbed "Mona Lisa". These brothels are often packed with foreign fishermen.

A pimp there said sex workers from West Java were the favorite of Thai fishermen. Other sex workers come from East Java, Kalimantan and South Sulawesi.

Sex workers said they do not receive regular check-ups. Police chief Ony said there was no data on HIV infections, as most sex workers refuse to undergo regular medical check-ups. -- JP/Rendi Akhmad Witular (With additional reporting by M. Aziz Tunny)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bird flu blamed for two deaths in Central Java

Suherdjoko , The Jakarta Post , Semarang | Wed, 03/05/2008 2:18 PM

The avian flu scourge claimed several victims in Central Java earlier this year, bringing the death toll to 10 at present, a local health official says.

Of four patients believed to have been infected with the disease, two of them (from Kendal and Sragen) have died, while the others were undergoing treatment at Moewardi Hospital in Surakarta, Central Java Health Office head Hartanto told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

"The condition of the other two patients--both from Klaten--is improving, according to reports I received this afternoon," Hartanto said.

The two dead victims received treatment at Hermina Hospital in Semarang.

"We made concerted efforts to prevent a bird-to-human (virus) transfer by educating the public through the media and brochures.

"The health office has also worked with the United Nations Child Education Fund and provincial husbandry agency to familiarize school children with the dangers of bird flu and its prevention," Hartanto said.

His office distributed Tamiflu drugs to health agencies throughout the province, Hartanto said.

"They will be distributed to community health centers in all regions," he added.

The two patients at Moewardi Hospital were identified as S, 38, and his child IFH, 9.

The two bring the total number of suspected cases of human bird flu infection in the province to 13, ten of which have died.

According to data from the National Commission on Bird Flu (dated Feb. 3, 2008), at a national level there have been 126 cases of humans contracting avian influenza with 103 fatalities, making Indonesia the most bird-flu prone of all countries in the world.

In Central Java, the virus has infected 23 of 35 regencies and mayoralties since 2005, while data from the agricultural ministry shows it has hit 161 regencies across the country.

Despite the ten deaths in Central Java, the province has never conducted mass poultry culls, except of infected birds in Semarang, Boyolali, Magelang, Sragen, Kendal and Demak.

Authorities Monday conducted a cull in Kedungampel village, Klaten, following the confirmed discovery of bird flu infected free-range chickens last week, when many chickens died abruptly.

Subsequently, two residents believed to be infected by the virus were taken for treatment at Moewardi Hospital.

Central Java Husbandry Agency head Kusmaningsih said mass culls were based on directives.

"If we cull the entire poultry population, it would have an adverse impact on farmers breeding healthy chickens, especially during harsh times like these," Kusmaningsih said, "so we must cull the birds selectively."

Bird flu virus usually spreads during the rainy season, he added.

In fact, the H5N1 strain dies when exposed to sunlight or heat for any extended period, Kusmaningsih said. However, the virus could reappear in damp conditions, like the current rainy season, he said.

"We have urged rural authorities to distribute information on the risks of bird flu. Everyone must have a clean lifestyle," Kusmaningsih added.

The provincial husbandry agency has so far provided 16 million doses of locally-produced bird flu vaccine and 8,000 liters of disinfectant to poultry farmers.

Body care manufacturers arrested for fake products

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 03/05/2008 2:13 PM

Police announced Tuesday they had arrested three suspects for allegedly forging body care products like shampoo, perfume and body lotion in their small factories in Kebon Jeruk and Tambora in West Jakarta and in Tangerang, Banten.

One of the factories produced forged Natur shampoo products, while the others produced fake perfumes using Alyssa Ashley, Pall Mall, Long Beach and Cabana labels.

Police said the factories had been in operation for more than a year and their products had been sold in small shops and supermarkets around the city, targeting lower economic groups.

"The suspects will be charged under the health law and trademark law with a maximum penalty of seven years' imprisonment and a Rp 1 billion (US$110,000) fine," said Sr. Comr. Amran Depari, head of the narcotics division.

Amran said that although investigations are yet to determine whether the fake products contain harmful substances, it was highly possible that the manufacturers did not take health into consideration.

"What matters for these manufacturers is profit. Their fake shampoo, for example, causes irritation and hair loss instead of treating hair," said the officer.

The police are working with the Food and Drugs Monitoring Agency and the Jakarta Industry and Trade Agency to make arrests and further investigate the cases.

The police and the agencies plan more raids on medium to small shops in the city for fake products.

Head of Jakarta Industry and Trade Agency Ade Soeharsono said that although packaging is often a near perfect imitation, the knock-off product packages are lighter in color and do not have registration numbers and labels.

The fake Natur shampoo is thinner and has a weaker fragrance than the original one. The fake perfumes smell almost the same as the originals but do not last as long.

Indah Suksmaningsih, chairwoman of the Indonesian Consumers Foundation, said people should pay more attention when purchasing products.

"Consumers should make sure they're buying products at respectable and credible shops which have clear addresses. Forged products are usually sold at cheaper prices, which is an obvious sign they're not real," she said.

Consumers, she said, should also look for a feedback hotline or an address on the product pack.

She also said the penalty in such forgery cases was not effective in deterring the perpetrators because they were usually not sent to jail.

"They could easily pay the fine, and then get back to production," she said. (dre)