Rural health care in Indonesia is in crisis right now. Consider these statistics: The life expectancy in Indonesia is 67 years old. Only 5% of the population is currently over the age of 65. In addition, approximately a third of children under 5 suffer from stunted growth. Diarrheal disease, HIV/AIDS, cancer, and polio are some of the most common killers among Indonesians.
Without a doubt, improving rural health care in Indonesia needs to happen, and Health In Harmony is taking the initiative to end the crisis. This how we are working with communities in West Borneo to meet their needs.
Need #1: Health Care for People Living In Isolated Villages
People living in isolated villages often have to travel many hours to reach the nearest health care facility. Without easy access to a nearby clinic, they are at a greater risk of succumbing to a disease or illness that may be easily treated.
Solution: Mobile Clinics
We’re meeting the needs of isolated villages with the mobile clinic. Each month, the medical staff of our partner ASRI travels over rutted roads to villages more than five hours away to serve people who would not otherwise have access to health care services. These villages depend on ASRI.
Need #2: Access to Surgical Care
For the villages surrounding Gunung Palung National Park, the nearest hospital is two to 12 hours away, and when they arrive, patients often find the services unreliable. When an emergency requiring hospital care arises, many are also unable to afford the costs of transportation.
Solution: Community Hospital and Training Center
Health In Harmony donors have funded the construction of ASRI’s Community Hospital and Training Center, which is now almost 80% complete. The hospital will be staffed by well-trained physicians and will serve more than 100,000 people in the Kayong Utara Regency. When a medical emergency arises, people will have access to an affordable and reliable facility, and can be transported to the hospital by ambulance.This will help people get the treatment and procedures needed to save their life after an accident or serious medical condition.
Need #3: Keep Medical Costs Low
Approximately 28 million people fall below Indonesia’s poverty line. These individuals often do not have enough money to pay for health care. Since they have the highest risk of suffering from disease and illness, it’s imperative medical costs remain as low as possible.
Solution: Offer an Incentive System and Non-Cash Payment Options
Since many villagers living around Gunung Palung National Park turn to illegal logging in order to get fast cash to pay their medical bills, ASRI’s clinic offers an incentive system for payment. People who live in villages that have verifiably ceased logging activity will get up to a 70% discount on health care services.
In addition, ASRI also allows patients to pay for care with non-cash means. For example, many choose to pay with tree seedlings, which ASRI can then plant in their reforestation sites. Patients also have the option to pay with manure, used in sustainable farming, or handicrafts, which Health In Harmony sells at Cargo Inc. in Portland, Oregon.
Helping Health In Harmony
We can’t provide communities in Indonesia with access to affordable and high-quality health care without your help.
When you invest in improving rural health care in Indonesia, you invest in the health of our planet. When people have access to health care and different options for payment, they no longer need to turn to logging in a national park for fast cash. Please help us continue to improve the health of people and our planet by joining us today.
The most direct way to support this work is with a donation or volunteering at ASRI. You can view all the ways to get involved on our website.