I have another blog about international health. I posted about Indonesia and the problem of pollution they have there. I thought I would post it here too. Sorry it doesn’t have anything to do with fatigue, but you might find the information helpful.
Ahh beautiful wonderful Indonesia. So full of mystery, culture, and diversity. Yet most people are unaware of Indonesia.
Indonesia is an archipelago of approximately 17,508 islands in South East Asia. It is the fourth largest country in the world with a whopping population of 238 million. The majority of the population is Muslim making it the largest Muslim populated country in the world. The language spoken in Indonesia is cleverly called “Indonesian” which is a compilation of about 300 different dialects.
For a taste of Indonesia’s culture and flare click here.
I went to Indonesia as a service representative for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 2006. When I tell people I went to Indonesia, automatic reactions are: “OH WOW…. where is that again?” and “What language do they speak there?” Its surprising to me how over and over again this is the reaction I get. Everyone has heard of Indonesia. They probably just don’t realize it.
Indonesia has been no stranger to natural disasters. In the 2004 Tsunami Indonesia was the hardest hit with a total of 240,774people killed. There have been numerous earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Indonesia gets beat up on all sides yearly. A genius blog was put together about this Called “Indonesian Disasters” I recommended it if you want to learn more.
This youtube video of the Tsunami always makes me cry. Click here.
Indonesia also has its fair share of not so natural disasters including problems with air pollution. Indonesia has many factories, and considering its giant population mostly found on the island of Java no emissions laws= major problems. I remember flying into Jakarta and thinking, wow, what is this haze? The hole time I was there I didn’t get a lick of sunlight, and Indonesia is on the equator! coincidence? Nope. Pollution. If we are worried about the ozone layer, we need to start worrying more about the major dumpers of air pollution.
I found this statistic chilling “According to the Statistic Central Agency, the number of vehicles in Jakarta in 2003 was 3.4 million motorcycles, 1.99 million passenger cars, 467,000 trucks, and 392,000 buses. Meanwhile, oil fuel consumption increased. In 2003, oil fuel use was 68 percent of total energy consumption. In 2004–2005, the demand for gasoline in Jakarta rose, resulting in increased air pollution. Ambient air pollution has a significant impact on the health and economic sectors. Health care costs increase by US$3.8 million per year. On average, people have only 18 “good air” days in a year. In 2004, 46 percent of all illness cases in Jakarta were respiratory related.” For more click here.
So what are they doing about it? In my opinion not enough. Not because I am snooty, but because I have such a great love for the people there, and their health matters to me. When I came home from Indonesia, I had heavy metals in my lungs and had to pump the anti-oxidants to get it out. I couldn’t imagine breathing all that in all my life long. Indonesia did apologize to the WHO for the pollution in 1997.
Here is what is being done, as of 2002, but is it enough?