The number of Indonesians suffering respiratory problems or ISPA caused by smoke from forest and peatland fires blanketing parts of Borneo and Sumatra in the past few months has reached over 919,000.
The highest number of residents with haze-related illness were found in SouthSumatra (291,807), followed by Riau (nearly 267,000), West Kalimantan (nearly181,000), South Kalimantan (67,293), Jambi (63,554), and Central Kalimantan(40,374), he added.
The government has distributed 73,000 respiratory masks to affected localities,and established several posts in a number of areas so that people can check ontheir health and ask for masks, medicines and supplementary foods for babiesand pregnant women.
The United Nations Children’s Fund said almost 10 million people under 18 livein the areas worst affected by fires on Indonesia’s Sumatra island and thecountry’s part of Borneo island. Small children are especially vulnerable dueto underdeveloped immune systems while babies born to mothers exposed topollution during pregnancy may have low birth weights and be delivered early.
Indonesia has deployed some 10,000 soldiers, policemen and BNPB staff as wellas tens of helicopters for water bombing to fight forest fires in the past twomonths./. VNA