From BENJOL to DRR, A Comprehensive Receipt for Healthy Living

Rumah Kita, 18/7/2019 A SEMI-PERMANENT building stands in the backyard of the Indonesian Bethel Church which was collapsed by the 7,...

Rumah Kita, 18/7/2019




A SEMI-PERMANENT building stands in the backyard of the Indonesian Bethel Church which was collapsed by the 7,4 SR Palu earthquake in September 29th 2018. The building has a 5 m x 8 m less terrace, facing directly into the Gawalise mountains. Two cacao trees stand on the front yard. Several long wooden chair are arranged in a row as a waiting room. In the part that meets the wall and sequentially closes the letter L, there is a registration desk, a pharmacy table complete with various types of medicines and a doctor's table. Two doctors and four nurses are ready to serve patients who arrive throughout the day. This is the Pelkesi health service clinic that operates from nine in the morning until four in the afternoon. The clinic is clean, open and has a beautiful view.

"I often come here to check my health. The doctor is friendly, medicines are given free and the place is quite loose, simple. Usually we wait and be checked in a closed room, but then we feel tired. Here the clinic is on the terrace with fresh air, bright and comfortable atmosphere," said a mother who brought her daughter for medical checkup. Both of them sat in the waiting room talking to other patients who were queuing too.

"At the beginning of clinic services, patients who came could be more than 120 people per day. Now the conditions are normal and better. However, there are still a large number of patients who come, per day, on average there are still over 70 people," said Dina, Pelkesi's information and communication staff.

In addition to serving patients who come directly to the clinic, the Pelkesi medical team is also ready to come to the patient's home if there is an emergency. Both Pelkesi doctors are on duty, Dr. Elpa and Dr. Gina will refer patients to the nearest health center or hospital if there are emergency medical services that cannot be handled at the Pelkesi clinic or during a home visit.

“Usually the patients that we take cares during home visit are elderly people, pregnant women, people with disabilities and stroke patients," explained Dr. Gina. She is from Jogja and feels medical services in the emergency response area are very challenging. "This is my first experience working in a disaster area. I see patients here having a great motivation and enthusiasm to get move on, continue their live,” she said. Doctor Gina began working for the Pelkesi Clinic in Jono Oge Village, Sigi from last April to the end of December 2019. She claimed that she learned a lot from her patients. Patients often tell other things beyond health problems. Doctor Gina patiently listened to the shared personal story of her patients.

As a health service alliance organization in Indonesia, Pelkesi itself has a lot of doctor and nurse resources that can be deployed to areas of disaster or conflict whenever needed. These medical personnel can serve in the affected area for two weeks until the agreed time. "So there is a rotation system, according to the schedule and needs in the field," Dina added.

"We are currently opening a routine health check-up service. Like checking sugar levels, cholesterol and gout. We also provide medicines according to patient needs. Everything is free," explained Dr. Elpa. This young UKDW graduate doctor gave easy-to-remember tips to patients. "So that uric acid is not high, then we need to limit consumption of Benjol," he said. Benjol stands for B for Bayam (Spinach), E for Emping (Chips), N for Nangka (Jackfruit), J for Jeroan (Viscera), O for Otak-otak (grilled fish caked) and L for Lain-lain (Others). These are type of food that is very often consumed by Indonesian people. "So if you want normal uric acid or go down, reduce consuming these food," he continued.

The Pelkesi health team serves 10 villages in three districts; Palu, Sigi, Donggala and target as many as 20,000 survivors affected by the earthquake, tsunami and liquefaction. In addition to mobile clinic services, Pelkesi also conducts training in improving medical skills for health cadres at the Posyandu, Pustu and village levels. As for the villagers, according to Dina, the training provided was in the form of traditional health services which included acupressure and traditional medicines and herbs.

PELKESI's medic team in GBI Jono'oge on a Mobile Clinic Service (source:PELKESI doc.)

Doctor Elpa is checking a child in GBI Jono'Oge. Source: PELKESI's doc.

Mobile Clinic Service in Vilaage of Rakuta, District of Sigi. Doc.by: SV

Mobile Clinic Service in village of Omu cooporate with local church at the village, Sigi, Central Sulawesi. Doc by: AZ

Eko Rusmiati train the participants to understand and use the skill of traditional health service. (16/7/2019). Source: PELKESI'S doc.

"We also built a clinic that we will hand over to local church administrators. In addition, we are conducting community managed disaster risk reduction (DRR) activities in 10 villages. Through DRR approach, we especially hope that people can use village funds (dana desa) to improve access, facilities and health services in the village," said Dian.
Thus, Pelkesi health services try to provide complete recipes so that people can live fully healthy. Increasing capacity, minimizing risk, so that threats that lead to future disasters can be managed better.

(* By Michael Yudha for Pelkesi / ACT Alliance*)

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