Makassar, South Sulawesi. Nearly 150,000 Indonesian children under five die of preventable diseases every year, according to Unicef.
“The preventable diseases are closely related to personal and environmental healthcare,” Edward Carwardine, the Head of Unicef’s Communication and Partnership Cluster for Indonesia said on Saturday.
Carwardine noted that awareness of basic preventable healthcare among economically weak and under-educated people is still low.
Consequently, many children under five are susceptible to diseases caused by poor sanitation, such as diarrhea, dengue fever, and other communicable illnesses, he said.
“In fact, the diseases can be prevented if they have a good knowledge and awareness of healthy lifestyles,” he said.
Unicef also said around 10,000 Indonesian women die due to complications following childbirth each year.
Carwardine, also said that a lack of basic health services and health facilities in a number of areas — especially in more remote parts of the archipelago — contributed to the alarmingly high number of deaths.