(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, August 30, 2010

Sinabung Volcano Evacuees Complain of Illness, Stress

Jakarta Globe, August 30, 2010

Residents observe the eruption of Mount Sinabung from their village in Tanah Karo in North Sumatra on Monday. Airlines have been warned to avoid the remote volcano after it spewed a vast cloud of smoke and ash high into the air for a second day after springing to life for the first time in four centuries on Sunday. (AFP Photo/Sutanta Aditya)   

Related articles

Kabanjahe, Indonesia. Hundreds of the many thousands of people who have crowded into evacuation centers seeking protection from Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra have begun to complain of illness.

“I have a constant headache and stomachache,” Maranata, an internally displaced person, told Metro TV.

As the number of people seeking shelter passed 20,000, a number also reported that they were suffering from stress amid concerns about their property and crops and the possibility of further eruptions.

At least one person is reported to have succumbed to respiratory problems and died.

The volcano spewed a vast cloud of smoke and ash high into the air on Monday, disrupting flights and sending thousands more people into temporary shelters, officials said.

Airlines were warned to avoid the volcano as it erupted for a second day after springing to life for the first time in four centuries on Sunday.

“It erupted again at 6:30 a.m. and lasted about 15 minutes. The smoke and ash reached at least 2,000 metres,” government volcanologist Agus Budianto said.

The eruption was bigger than on Sunday when Sinabung rumbled into action for the first time since 1600, adding its name to the list of 69 active volcanoes in the Southeast Asian archipelago. 

Aircraft were ordered to avoid the area but travellers to North Sumatra province were warned of possible delays, Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said.

“It may affect flight traffic to and from the province. It all depends on the direction of the wind,” he told AFP.

Several domestic flights had to be cancelled on Sunday due to the smoke, he said.

The number of people living in temporary shelters swelled by 3,000 to 21,000, disaster management official Andes Mbaga said.

Sixteen shelters have been set up to accommodate people who evacuated their villagers as ash and stones fell around the area early Sunday.

Witnesses said a strong smell of sulphur filled the air and many people fled their homes before receiving the order to evacuate. 


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Who’s to blame for our antibiotics addiction?

Triwik Kurniasari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sun, 08/29/2010 11:19 AM

The widespread use of antibiotics has become a major global public health sector problem. The UN World Health Organization (WHO) has urged countries to reinforce national policies on the prudent use of antibiotics to reduce the alarming increase in poorly monitored consumption.

A traveler walks past a drug store at Gambir train
station in Central Jakarta. Different brand of antibiotics
 are easily available as over-the-counter medicine,
 which contributes to the excessive use of the drugs.
JP/Ricky Yudhistira
How have antibiotics become a new source of addiction?

As health experts are busy debating the impact of excessive use of antibiotics, the WHO has called on governments, medical practitioners and the pharmaceutical industry to guard against possible problems associated with antibiotics, especially the potential for microbial resistance.

But what exactly is an antibiotic?

An antibiotic is essentially a substance used for curing illnesses by killing or injuring microbes, including bacteria, pharmacologist Nicolaski Lumbuun of the Pelita Harapan University Medical School said.

Antibiotics have widely been used since the 19th century following research on bacteria by Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch, who discovered that some microorganisms were capable of destroying other microorganisms.  The experiment led to Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin in 1928, which was developed further by English and German scientists.

The invention resulted in a medical revolution, first by significantly reducing mortality rate, Nicolaski said.

“Antibiotics are safe for most human beings, but it have side effects causing allergies, rashes, itching, swelling and even Stevens-Johnson syndrome, which can lead to death,” Nicolaski told The Jakarta Post recently. 

Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a life-threatening condition affecting the skin.

Antibiotics should only be used to treat bacterial infections with symptoms such as fever or inflammation lasting longer than five days, Nicolaski said.

“Antibiotics fight bacteria-related illness, so they are not suitable for treating influenza or the common cold, which are caused by viruses,” he added.

In Indonesia, people tend to excessively consume antibiotics because they are over-the-counter medicines that can be found in drugstores, or even in roadside stalls. In many cases, physicians easily prescribe antibiotics in hopes that their patients swiftly recover. 

Nicolaski once again warned about the side effects of antibiotics.

“First, it is a waste of money because antibiotics are usually expensive. They can lead to allergic reactions and digestion problems. But the most serious effect is that excessive use of antibiotics can
raise the resistance to dangerous bacteria. This situation makes it difficult for doctors to control

Some bacteria become immune if an antibiotic is used over a long period of time, Nicolaski said, adding that this is why some countries have imposed strict regulations over the use of antibiotics.

“In Singapore, for instance, drug stores can only give antibiotics to customers with a prescription from licensed physicians. Such regulations protect citizens,” Nicolaski said.

Other experts have warned about the issue of antibiotics resistance because of microorganisms’ ability to mutate and develop immunity, the chairman of Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology Malaria Laboratory, Syafruddin, said.

Research indicated that some organisms, such as Staphylococcus aureus, had built up immunity against meticillin, a penicillin-class antibiotic used to treat infection, he said.

Syafruddin also blasted doctors who over-prescribed antibiotics despite knowledge of the associated risks, and suggested that doctors asked their patients about allergies to antibiotics.

“If doctors are not sure about their diagnoses, they shouldn’t give their patients antibiotics,” he said.
Syafruddin added that doctors should be encouraged to provide patients with more general medicines to prevent antibiotic resistance. 

While many doctors freely offer their patients antibiotics, there are other doctors who are more cautious.

Nina, a doctor who refused to give her full name, said that she only prescribed antibiotics if her patient suffered from a high fever for more than three days.

“I will prescribe regular [non-antibiotic] medication if my patient’s fever lasts less than three days. If the fever lasts longer than three days, I will prescribe an antibiotic. But I check the patient’s condition before I make the prescription,” she said.

It is also important to ask patients whether they have allergies when they request prescriptions for antibiotics, Nina said.

“Sometimes parents panic when their children are sick and ask the doctor to prescribe antibiotics. Many people think that antibiotics will solve illnesses immediately.

I myself will not prescribe antibiotics if the patients don’t need it, and I will give the reason why,” Nina said, adding that pregnant women have to be careful because the consumption of antibiotics can give harm the fetus.

But some people are simply clueless about antibiotics and the possible effects they may have. 

“I don’t even know what an antibiotic is. All I know is that if the doctor gives us an antibiotic, we must eat it, but I never ask my doctor why,” said Gayatri Nur Andewi, a 28-year-old mother of two.

“I don’t want my kids taking too much of any medicine, and I stop giving them the drugs once they feel better.

The most important thing is that the sickness is gone,” Gayatri said. She said she never bought antibiotics without a prescription because it was too risky.

“It’s a matter of safety. I don’t know what antibiotics are available in stores,” she said.

For others, antibiotics are their drugs of choice. Private employee Gracia Maya Savitri said she bought antibiotics from drugstores without a prescription.

“Yes, I bought Amoxicillin for my toothache. My dentist suggested I take the antibiotic and I buy them without a prescription,” she said.

“I used to give my sick toddlers antibiotic syrup, but I only gave it for three days,” she said.

Why does not she consult a physician? “I don’t want to stand in line, especially as my pediatrician
has a lot of patients,” Gracia said. 

Nicolaski urged the public not to buy antibiotics without a prescription.

“If you get a cough, cold or flu [for less than three days], it’s not recommended to take antibiotics without a doctor’s prescription, because these illnesses are caused by viruses and antibiotics won’t work,” Nicolaski said. The excessive use of antibiotics to fight ailments like common colds has contributed to a global antibiotic resistance crisis, he said.

“Don’t use antibiotics for prevention, such as taking antibiotics before or after having sexual intercourse with a sex worker. The medicine will not prevent sexually transmitted infections,” he said.

Nicolaski also encouraged patients to prevent infection and side effects by maintaining discipline when a doctor prescribed an antibiotic.

The WHO also recommended that governments ensure rational use of antibiotics by educating healthcare workers and the public on the most appropriate dosage.

Ministers blamed for not reporting Indonesians facing death sentences in Malaysia

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 08/23/2010 11:41 AM

Migrant Care director Anis Hidayah blamed Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa and Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar Monday for not informing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of the 345 Indonesians facing the death penalty in Malaysia.

"It is ridiculous. They just want Yudhoyono to be happy without him knowing the real situation," Anis said as quoted by kompas.com.

Anis said the number of Indonesian citizens facing the death sentence in Malaysia increased in 2007 and 2008.

"There has been no action taken to prevent the death sentences," Anis said.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Indian Smuggler Caught With 9.4 Kilograms of Ketamine

Tempo Interactive, Friday, 27 August, 2010 | 10:17 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: One Indian national arrested at Medan' Polonia Airport on Thursday night with 9.4 kilograms of ketamine found in his luggage, estimated to worth about Rp4.5 billion.

Abdul Latif AKA Mohamed Yunus, 35, flew from India which made two stops in Hong Kong and Singapore before touching down at Polonia on Silk Air MI 238 flight at about 8 pm.

Customs officials found the drug hidden in 20 handbags and later took him under custody. Interrogation continue until Friday which is supported by the narcotics directorate of the regional police. Head of the Interdiction and Enforcement Section of the Customs Office Yusafat Patra Patuh said the smuggler has been handed over to police.


Soekarno-Hatta officers foil attempt to smuggle drugs worth Rp 2.76b

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 08/27/2010 1:47 PM

Customs and excise officers at the Soekarno-Hatta airport has foiled an attempt to smuggle 1.38 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine worth around Rp 2.76 billion (US$306,956) by an Indonesian citizen identified as L. Sandra.

“The crystal methamphetamine was concealed at the partition of his suitcase,” head of the customs and excise office's action and investigation section Gatot Sugeng Wibowo said on Friday as was quoted by tempointeraktif.com.

Sandra was a passenger of Air Asia (flight No. QZ 7717) from Bangkok to Jakarta. The 20-year-old man hailing from Pangkal Pinang, Bangka-Belitung province, arrived at Soekarno-Hatta airport early on Thursday.

The officers immediately arrested him after searching inspecting the content of his suitcase following his suspicious movement, Gatot said.

He further explained that Sandra was the eighth Indonesian citizen ever arrested at the airport this year in connection with alleged involvement in an international drug trafficking networks.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Retired American Serviceman Jailed in Bali for Drugs

Jakarta Globe, Made Arya Kencana | August 25, 2010

A 61-year-old retired US serviceman in Bali was sentenced to nine months in prison on Wednesday for possession of 8.5 grams of marijuana.

Joseph Michael Malone was vacationing on the resort island when he was arrested at Padang-Padang Beach in South Kuta on April 28.

Police said Malone was trying to dispose of a white bag filled with marijuana as they approached him on the beach.

Detectives from the Denpasar Police later examined the drug and confirmed that it was marijuana.

The court heard that Malone later admitted to police that he had bought the drugs for Rp 8 million ($890) from some sailors while on holiday in Padang, West Sumatra.

The Denpasar District Court found Malone guilty of violating Article 127 of the 2009 Narcotics Law.

“The court sentences the defendant to nine months in prison, with a reduction for time served while the defendant was held awaiting trial,” Judge Sutama said in the verdict.

Indonesia’s drug laws are notoriously heavy. Malone’s sentence, however, was more lenient than the one-year in prison that prosecutors had demanded.

When handing down the verdict, the panel of judges said they took into account the defendant’s remorse and lack of a criminal record in awarding a lighter sentence.

Malone’s lawyer, I Nyoman Jaya, said his client would not file an appeal.

“At the start of the trial, we filed a motion asking that the defendant be acquitted on all charges,” Jaya said. “But since the motion was not granted, we think the sentence is fair.”

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Vision of Commonsense Lawmakers

Jakarta Globe, Joe Cochrane | August 23, 2010

If newspapers had audio-video capability — and from what I hear, one day they will — you would see and hear me giving the government a standing ovation for its announcement last week that it planned to offer free birth care for all Indonesian women.

Finally we have some common sense coming from a member of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s cabinet.

And not only that, but Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih showed initiative and proved that she’s actually in touch with the plight of the country’s poor masses.

If only other cabinet misters had a clue, the current administration would have more success stories these days.

The initiative for the state to pay for deliveries stems from recent cases of poor women being forced to sell their newborns to pay their hospital bills, or hospitals holding newborns as collateral until payment is made.

Such stories are sad and embarrassing, and it says something that the Ministry of Health acknowledges a problem and is seeking solutions.

The initiative hopefully also will reduce the country’s shockingly high maternal and infant mortality rates.

Alas, if all our government officials would act this way, Indonesia would be a better place.

But self-interest, or the fear of losing face, or a refusal to accept responsibility or plain old incompetence tend to get in the way of sound policies.

This happens on a regular basis.

Consider the decision last January by the Jakarta city administration and city police to round up thousands of street children and compel them to submit to rectal examinations in an effort to identify victims of sexual abuse.

Ah yes, let’s find out if street children have been sexually violated by in turn violating them via a rectal exam.

Is this sound government policy?

No, it was an ill-conceived strategy by Jakarta administration and police officials to assure the public they weren’t neglecting the city’s street children after alleged serial killer Bayquni, aka Babe, confessed to having raped and killed 14 young boys.

More recently, of course, we have the laughable policy by Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring to block pornographic Web sites in Indonesia.

His reasoning? To “protect our youth,” as if the Internet is the cause of increased sexual behavior among the nation’s teenagers.

There’s just one problem: The minister failed to provide any reliable data to show that the Internet is causing increased sexual behavior among teenagers.

That’s not to say that teenagers here aren’t negatively affected by the Internet. It’s just that Tifatul initiated a highly controversial policy to block Web sites without any evidence that it would do any good.

Sound familiar? (I won’t even mention the minister’s claim that 90 percent of pornographic Web sites have now been blocked; a cursory search on Google shows that surfers still have access to thousands of hard-core sites with a single click.)

If Sembiring really wants to protect Indonesian youth from harmful content, he should have gone after television.

According to the Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, more than half of American teenagers reported getting some or most of their information about sex from television.

On average, the group says, music videos contain 93 sexual situations per hour, including 11 “hard-core” scenes depicting behaviors such as intercourse and oral sex.

While television programming in the United States is not the same as in Indonesia, American TV shows and video channels are available here.

There have also been Indonesian studies on television content that have raised concerns, so the Information Ministry would at least have a shot at helping teenagers through a realistic government regulation.

Talk about government regulations and new laws is increasingly important, given that the House of Representatives seems poised to ram through a number of bills in the coming weeks to try and meet a minimum quota for its first year.

Of course, the problem with such deadline bills is that they’re often so horribly written and contradictory that they do more harm than good, do no good at all or are quashed by the Constitutional Court.

Lawmakers who want to make a difference have several options.

For starters, amend the 2008 law known as MP3 regarding the People’s Consultative Assembly, House of Representatives, Regional Representative Council and provincial legislatures.

This law makes it illegal for anyone to lie to lawmakers when testifying before them, but oddly enough, there’s no sanction for anyone found guilty of perjury.

If the law is amended to mandate a 10-year prison sentence, it might stop National Police officials from fabricating evidence and trying to frame officials from the Corruption Eradication Commission.

Second, make it explicitly illegal for senior officials from the National Police to directly own or run private businesses while serving in the force.

That might help reduce the number of million-dollar bank accounts linked to senior officers, and eliminate the alibi that their stashes are from business profits rather than corruption.

Speaking of which, why isn’t anyone sharpening their pitchforks over claims that it’s OK for National Police officials to run private businesses while they’re supposed to be serving the public?

And finally, pass a law banning hospitals from refusing to release newborns to their parents until they pay their medical bill. The law would also ban staff members from taking custody of newborns in exchange for paying the bills.

Pardon me if this sounds naive, but where I come from, such acts are referred to as hostage-taking and child trafficking. We even have laws saying so.

Joe Cochrane is a Jakarta Globe contributing editor.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Indonesia to Pay Bills for All Citizens' Births

Jakarta Globe, Dessy Sagita | August 19, 2010

Jakarta. The government on Thursday announced a plan to provide free birth care to all, helping to prevent cases of mothers selling their babies to pay for the deliveries and hospitals holding the infants ransom until the medical bills are paid.

In the next year, the state will start a pilot program to pay for all births in community health centers (Puskesmas) and state hospitals nationwide.

Although the benefit is aimed at low-income mothers, even the wealthy qualify, so long as “they are willing to give birth to their babies in third-class wards in hospitals,” Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih said.

But the scheme comes with a caveat, she said. After the project’s first year, free delivery benefits will be limited to a mother’s first two children.

“This is expected to boost our stagnant family planning program,” Endang said, adding that the country was at risk of a population explosion.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stressed on Monday that the latest census put the population at 237.6 million people, a 32.5 million increase in a decade.

The rapid rise showed that the nation’s family-planning program, remarkable for reining in a population boom during the three decades under President Suharto, was no longer effective, Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi has said.

Health Ministry officials said the free delivery program was also expected to reduce the country’s extremely high maternal and infant mortality rates.

The latest maternal mortality figure for Indonesia is 228 deaths per 100,000 births, one of the highest in Southeast Asia, while 34 out of every 1,000 infants born die within their first year.

Budiharja, the Ministry of Health’s director general for community health and education, said the program should bring maternal deaths down to 102 per 100,000 births and reduce the infant mortality rate to 24 out of 1,000 births by 2015.

The progress would meet UN Millennium Development Goal targets.

“We hope that the number of births handled by the professional medical workers will increase to 100 percent,” Budiharja said.

A normal delivery at a Puskesmas or state hospital costs from Rp 300,000 to Rp 500,000 ($34 to $56).

However, recent cases of women selling their newborns in order to pay for their medical bills have highlighted the fact that many low-income mothers still can’t afford deliveries.

Others who can’t afford care opt to give birth at home, contributing to the high mortality rate.

Budiharja said the free care was intended for all birth procedures, including those requiring Caesarian sections or postpartum complication treatments.

The government is developing Puskesmas capable of providing basic obstetric, neonatal and emergency services, Budihara said.

“Out of 7,000 Puskesmas in Indonesia, more than 2,500 of them have been able to provide those three services, but only 1,600 of them provide the services 24 hours,” he said adding that all regional hospitals in Indonesia were expected to be able to provide more comprehensive care.

The 2011 draft state budget revealed on Monday included Rp 26.2 trillion, an almost 26 percent increase, in funding for the Ministry of Health.

Additional reporting from Antara

Thursday, August 19, 2010

National scene: Herbal medicine market expanding, researcher says

The Jakarta Post | Thu, 08/19/2010 8:25 AM | National

YOGYAKARTA: The herbal medicine market has been expanding every year with Rp 6 trillion estimated for this year’s domestic sales, a researcher from Gadjah Mada University’s Pharmacology Department said.

“The domestic market of herbal products grew from Rp 1 trillion [US$111 million] in 2000 to Rp 2 trillion in 2002. It has grown steadily and this year the market is estimated to see Rp 6 trillion,” Mae Sri Hartati Wahyuningsih said Wednesday.

She said chemical drugs could not replace herbal medicines so the consumption of herbal medicine increased every year. “Indonesians have known the benefits of various plants for health treatment ingredients, curative substances or beauty,” she said as quoted by Antara.

She said many businesspeople saw it as opportunity for investment. Many herbal medicine producers are home industries but several have produced herbal ingredients on a large scale distributing them nationwide even outside the country.

“Using herbal medicines is common practice for Indonesians and many have experienced benefits,” she said. “There are an estimated 30,000 species of plants in Indonesia and about 9,600 could be used for medicine. From that number, only 300 are used as ingredients.” — JP

Govt claims 184 people poisoned by cyanide

Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, JAKARTA | Thu, 08/19/2010 8:36 AM

More than a hundred people in a Lampung village were taken to hospital after they ate fish and drunk water contaminated with hazardous cyanide, according to the Environment Ministry.

Citing its investigation, the ministry alleged the cyanide was leaked into the environment from a mining company that began operation this year.

“Our investigation shows residents ate cyanide-poisoned fish and drank polluted water from Cikantar River in Lampung” in southern Sumatra, Rasio Ridho Sani, assistant deputy for management of hazardous waste at the ministry said Wednesday.

The incident in the Sinar Harapan village took place on Aug. 7 when 184 people were poisoned and taken to hospital.

Cyanide is commonly used in gold mining to extract gold from its ore. The cyanide is known as acutely toxic including to humans.

In Indonesia, the government still allows small-scale mining companies to use cyanide to extract gold from its ore despite some countries having banned it.

The ministry said that the mining company, PT Napal Umbar Picung in Lampung, had temporarily ceased operation last week after the incident. “We are still gathering more data to follow up our investigation.”

The ministry analyzed the quality of water in Cikantar River and the mud in the company’s waste management pond.

PT Napal Umbar Picung operated in 719 hectares of land with an environmental impact analysis document issued by the Lampung province administration in 2010.

The company applies the underground mining system with the use of cyanide to manage the gold. Ministry data showed that the first analysis for the company was issued by the Mining and Energy Ministry in 1999. The company ended operation in 2007. “They secured the analysis document to restart its operation in February,” he said.

Indonesian Environmental Forum executive director Berry Furqon said that the leak of cyanide could be due to poor monitoring from the local administration. “The case shows the analysis document fails to prevent environmental destruction,” he said.

The environmental analysis is a mandatory document for companies, including mining companies, which assesses the environmental impacts of any business activities. The document is required before a business permit is issued.

The 2009 Environmental Law requires the documents be given only if the local people living near the project give their approval.

Article 111 stipulates that officials who issue permits without documents will be subject to a maximum of three years in jail and/or a Rp 3 billion (US$330,000) fine. Since the autonomy era, authority to issue the document has been held by local administrations despite many of the provinces and regencies having no adequate human resources to assess the document.

The Environment Ministry has reported several times that many mining companies, particularly small-scale firms operating across the country, do not have these papers. Berry said the government should tighten requirements to issue the document. “We find many companies that destruct the environment have this document.”

The ministry deputy for spatial planning, Hermien Rosita, said the office would ask the Lampung administration, which issued the document, to verify it again.

Indonesia's Comfort Women Break the Silence

Jakarta Globe, Report Katrin Figge | August 18, 2010

The exhibition ‘Jugun Ianfu - Comfort Women’ features portraits of 18 women, most of whom are now in their late 70s or early 80s. Accompanying text tells the stories of the women and their experiences during World War II.  (JG Photos/Safir Makki and Amee Enriquez)

Related articles

“As a 13-year-old girl, Ronasih was picked up on her way home from school by a soldier nicknamed Sideburns and locked up in a nearby barracks. There, she was raped systematically for three months by Sideburns and his pal.”

This is the story of Ronasih, from Serang, West Java, but it is shared by many other young Indonesian girls who became victims of sexual violence during World War II.

They were forced into prostitution by the Japanese military or repeatedly raped and sexually abused in factory warehouses, railroad cars and even their own homes.

It is a dark chapter in history that few people openly talk about. These women, known as comfort women or the Japanese term jugun ianfu — jugun means following the military and ianfu means comfort women — still carry the stigma and shame of what they had to endure.

“Her father visited the barracks several times and in vain offered himself as free labor in exchange for his daughter’s release. Not until the end of the war was Ronasih, very thin by then, released. ‘I had to crawl home, I couldn’t even walk anymore, it hurt all over.’

“Immediately after the war, she underwent surgery for internal injuries. ‘I only married late because I first wanted to think, my wounds hadn’t healed yet, I was afraid, I wanted to get better first.’

She’s been married five times, divorced several times after just a few months, and has never been able to bear children. ‘I did get injections from the doctor, but it’s God who determines whether you have children, not people.’ ”

Ronasih’s narrative is part of an ongoing photo exhibition, “Jugun Ianfu — Comfort Women,” by Dutch journalist Hilde Janssen and photographer Jan Banning at Erasmus Huis in South Jakarta.

Encouraging comfort women to break their silence, Janssen and Banning traveled the country to hear and record their stories.

The exhibition is a result of this undertaking — portraits of 18 women, most of whom are now in their late 70s or early 80s, accompanied by text that tells their stories.

It also features Japanese war propaganda posters found in archives in the Netherlands. These posters stand in stark contrast to the pictures of the women, which present a rarely talked about side of the story.

In addition, Janssen and Banning published al book, “Shame and Innocence: The Suppressed War Chronicles of Indonesia’s Comfort Women,” in both English and Dutch.

Banning also published book of his photographs, “Comfort Women.”

“I so much wanted to be ugly because the ugly girls they quickly sent away. But the beautiful ones had to stay.” These words accompany the portrait of Emah, from Kuningan, West Java.

The photo shows an old woman wearing a black blouse with purple flowers and a serious look on her wrinkled face. The two sentences sum up the horror and desperation she still feels to this day.

Even though she later got married, Emah was never able to have children of her own.

Even without the accompanying text, the women’s portraits, which exude pain and sadness, speak for themselves.

Janssen said the project was not easy to complete. Finding the women was difficult, and once they were located, some were unwilling to talk about their experiences. Many others had already passed away.

“We had to approach them discretely because feelings of shame remain severe,” Janssen said. “Often, they couldn’t bring themselves to say the word rape, were reduced to nervous giggling and called it ‘forced adultery’ or ‘doing it.’

“Even in their 80s, some women still face abusive sneers,” she added.

“As much as they would like to erase the traces of their wartime history, they drag it along all their lives: the humiliation and pain, their childless existence, the failed marriages.”

But despite the topic’s sensitive nature, Janssen felt that bringing it into the open was the right thing to do.

“While [these women] struggle with the physical and emotional impacts, the Japanese perpetrators have gone free,” she said. “The circle of silence needs to be broken, the voices of the women no longer suppressed.”

Yuniyanti Chuzaifah, chairwoman of the National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan), who opened the exhibition last week, agreed that it was time to shed light on this issue.

“The great characters that emerge before us through these portraits are women who had the courage to share personal experiences of sexual violence that have been undermining their lives for over six decades,” she said.

“They have raised their voices not only to demand a formal apology and compensation; they broke the silence to prevent future generations of women from falling victim to similar acts of sexual violence.”

According to Banning, it is estimated that there were at least 200,000 comfort women in Asia, with 20,000 in Indonesia. He previously worked on a similar project about men who suffered abuse as forced laborers on the Burma and Sumatra railways during the war.

“A lot of the men had trouble talking about this experience,” he recalled. “They felt humiliated and ashamed.”

He added that the comfort women would have felt the same way, even worse. “In fact, we also tried to include Dutch [comfort] women in this project,” he said. “Out of the estimated 200 to 400 [Dutch comfort] women, only a handful have ever come out in the open.”

Yuniyanti said: “The fate of comfort women forms an integral part of our national history. Not only does it concern a period that is a crucial part of the Indonesian independence story, the issues related to comfort women are also still relevant today. This is evident in the way in which this sensitive issue was suppressed and shelved by the New Order regime [of former President Suharto].”

She said the stories of comfort women were kept secret because they were seen as tarnishing the nation’s honor. She added that the same thing has been happening for the last four decades regarding cases of sexual violence against women.

The issue of the May 1998 riots, when women of Chinese descent became victims of mass rape and sexual attacks, has been largely ignored until now, Yuniyanti said.

“While praising the 1998 events as a starting point for the democratization process in Indonesia, the May 1998 tragedy itself is only mentioned as a mere riot, ignoring the faces of the grieving mothers who lost their children and the women who are not able to talk about their personal experiences without risking being criticized for undermining Indonesia’s reputation,” she said.

“Female victims of sexual violence are also being silenced by their own families and communities, as they prioritize safety and want to avoid the disgrace and cultural shame attached to the ‘sins’ of these women.”

The physical and psychological harm that these women have experienced can never be undone. Nevertheless, their stories need to be told.

“I think we do not only live for ourselves,” Banning said. “I think we should try to play a role in society with whatever means we have. We wanted to bring this story to the surface.”

Related Article:

From Israel to Indonesia, with love

The Jerusalem Post, by ABE SELIG , 08/18/2010 05:13

How an Israeli entrepreneur forged stronger ties with the world’s largest Muslim country.

When Steve Stein first broached the idea of bolstering ties between Israel and Indonesia – the world’s largest Muslim country, and one with no official diplomatic relations with the Jewish state – he often met with the same response.

“People told me it will never happen – don’t waste your time,” Stein recalled as he spoke to The Jerusalem Post this week.

But that was in 1992, predating even Israel’s official peace accord with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which was signed two years later.

“In those days,” Stein said of Israel’s relationship with the Arab and larger Muslim world, “there was [Israel’s 1979 peace accord with] Egypt, and then there was everyone else.”

But Stein didn’t let that stop him.

The same year, he arrived in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta for the first time and began sowing the seeds of what has become a nearly 20- year venture.

“I started with a vision to try and make a difference,” Stein said.

“To try and change perceptions by engaging people.”

Using that vision, Stein’s efforts over the past two decades have included successful attempts to increase trade as well as to boost medical cooperation between the Indonesian health services and Israel’s Rambam Hospital and Magen David Adom.

But none of this has been easy. “I’ve poured my life into this over nearly two decades,” Stein said, “because I know that it’s for the benefit of both the Indonesian people and the people of Israel.”

Stein’s first real break came in 1997 when, after five years of shuttling between Tel Aviv and Jakarta, he became a consultant to an Indonesian state-owned insurance company, Asuransi Jasindo, and was tasked with promoting trade and investments between Israeli and Indonesian companies.

Less than three years later, in February 2000, those efforts paid off when Indonesian Minister of Industry and Trade Yusuf Kalla removed all commercial barriers in the private sector between the two countries, and companies in Indonesia and Israel began trading with one another directly.

A month later, the first bilateral protocol agreement was signed between Asuransi Jasindo and Assure Ltd. of Israel, providing export credit insurance for importers and exporters from both countries.

The same month, Asuransi Jasindo announced it was opening its first international representative office in Israel.

The following years saw the continued loosening of trade restrictions between the two countries – including joint agreements between several Israeli and Indonesian banks – and in 2003, the removal of required import licenses on most products imported from Indonesia and Malaysia to Israel.

As the trade doors continued to open, however, Stein and his Indonesian counterparts were caught off guard by the massive destruction the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami wreaked on Indonesia’s coastal communities.

“It was at that point that the poor state of Indonesia’s humanitarian and health services became so tragically apparent,” Stein said.

Indonesia had the highest death toll of all the countries affected by the tsunami, with the final number of fatalities resting at between 130,000 and almost 170,000 people.

Stein was asked to facilitate Israel’s humanitarian response, and immediately began arranging landing permits and logistical support for the storage and distribution of aid packages – including baby food, medicine, blankets, rice, sugar, bottled water, water-purifying machines, communication devices and more.

“All of it was donated by the people and private sector of Israel,” Stein stressed.

“Israel was one of the first countries to offer assistance,” he added. “And two weeks after the first waves had hit shore, we successfully airlifted 75 tons of humanitarian aid to a designated airport in Indonesia.”

While Stein’s efforts in the business sector continued, he increasingly began to shift his focus toward the humanitarian and social challenges facing Indonesia, where nearly 20 percent of its almost 250 million inhabitants live below the poverty line.

“Indonesia needed medical training – that became apparent during the tsunami,” Stein said. “And Israel has some of the best medical services the world can offer.”

Additionally, Stein added, Israeli medical personnel have expertise in the treatment of mass casualties – a jarring but realistic outcome of the country’s own history with terror attacks and bombings.

“While Israel has learned to deal with mass casualties for [its] own reasons, Indonesians suddenly saw the huge importance of it as well,” Stein said.

So in 2006, Prof. Aryono Pusponegoro, president of Indonesia’s surgeons association and chairman of more than 100 of the country’s emergency ambulance services, was invited to Israel by Magen David Adom – an event Stein helped facilitate.

“During his visit, Pusponegoro attended a national drill that simulated a major terror attack with mass casualties, featuring the participation of police, firefighters, military, air force and MDA emergency ambulance services,” Stein said.

“It was a big success,” he added. “And we decided to begin promoting similar efforts as well.”

In 2008, 23 doctors from throughout Indonesia arrived in Tel Aviv for a two-week workshop with MDA personnel on the “Management of Multi- Casualty Incidents.” During the workshop, the doctors learned about Israel’s EMS services, as well as new methods to provide better, faster medical care to their patients.

From there, MDA began increasing its cooperation with Indonesia’s medical services, and later that year it signed an agreement in Tel Aviv with Indonesian medical representatives that would boost MDA’s involvement in training Indonesian paramedics – both in Israel and in Indonesia.

But with all these developments continuing to unfold, Stein said he had no plans of slowing down. 

“My vision is to continue working with private fundraisers and NGOs, in both countries and overseas, who share the same vision and who have faith in our abilities to create better understanding between the people of Indonesia and Israel,” Stein said.

“In the case of Indonesia, I have seen with my own eyes how these efforts are helping people on the ground, in communities across the country,” he asserted. “It’s worked. It’s proven to be beneficial for both Indonesia and Israel, and I believe it will only continue to do so.”