Indonesia’s battle to stem a deadly measles outbreak striking malnourished children in Papua is doomed to be repeated unless the government helps lift the isolated region out of grinding poverty, observers said. Some 800 children have fallen ill and as many as 100 others, mostly toddlers, are feared to have died in what Jakarta called an “extraordinary” outbreak that was first made public this month. AFP reporters obtained rare access to an overwhelmed hospital in Agats, one of the worst-affected communities, witnessed rail-thin children with exposed rib cages lying on rickety beds or wandering foul-smelling hallways.

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