Kelantan Amanah wing demands answers after Gua Musang Orang Asli deaths

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad yesterday said the cause of death of the Orang Asli in Kampung Kuala Woh would be known after a polymerase chain reaction and serological tests are completed. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad yesterday said the cause of death of the Orang Asli in Kampung Kuala Woh would be known after a polymerase chain reaction and serological tests are completed. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KOTA BHARU, June 12 — The Kelantan Amanah women’s wing, Angkatan Wanita Amanah Negeri (Awan) has called on the parties conducting investigations into the spread of pneumonia among the Batek tribe community in Kampung Kuala Woh, Gua Musang to provide answers quickly.

Its Health Bureau head, Dr Hafidzah Mustakim said the movement believed the country did not lack the manpower to provide an accurate assessment on the spread of the infection. 

“After the disease has spread among community (Batek tribe) for so long, the people are still wondering what is the real cause of the outbreak.

"Why are Kampung Kuala Woh Orang Asli so susceptible to pneumonia and what caused their immunity to weaken especially among the young,” she told Bernama here today.

Yesterday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad was reported as saying the actual cause of death of the Orang Asli in Kampung Kuala Woh would be known soon after a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and a serological tests are completed.

Dr Dzulkefly was also quoted as saying the health problem affecting the Batek tribe Orang Asli saw 99 members of the community treated with four of them warded at the Intensive Care Units (ICU) at Kuala Krai Hospital and Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital (HRPZII).

Commenting further, Dr Hafidzah who is also a medical officer at a private clinic here said it does not makes sense if cleanliness is the factor for the spread of the disease as Orang Asli have been living in such condition for so long.

“Social media reports showed the villagers have been suffering from the skin disease for a long time and there are views that it is related to the source of water of the Orang Asli which maybe contaminated.

“Obviously this development will spark uproar and speculations among the people. I understand various government departments have gone down to investigate and I believe in the expertise they have,” she said.

She also urged the government especially the state government to investigate allegations of illegal mining activities in an area near the village and to take stern actions against the irresponsible parties if such activities were proven to have taken place.

In this regard, she encouraged the people to assist Kampung Kuala Woh Orang Asli by providing contributions to the Kuala Woh Orang Asli Welfare and Humanitarian Aid Fund organised by Yayasan Darul Hijrah.

Contributions can be made via link: https://www.billplz.com/bantuanorangasli or through online transaction to Maybank account at Yayasan Darul Hijrah (5660 1060 9934) by informing each contribution via WhatsApp (018-359 0403) and email to [email protected] for receipt and audit. — Bernama