Health in Harmony - Saving Forests • Saving Lives


July 2011

Jul 5th, 2011

Healthy People.  Healthy Forests. Healthy Babies!

When women in the Gunung Palung area get pregnant, most elect a Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA), many of whom come from long lineages of birth attendants. Others choose to work with midwives, whose government training may be minimal. Despite the best efforts of these caregivers, the rate of complications and deaths associated with childbirth in our area is unacceptably high. ASRI is dedicated to decreasing the infant mortality rate.

Recently, Health In Harmony, with the help of the Osborne Foundation, hosted Karen Ruby Brown CNM, MSN, to run a training for local midwives. A Yale-trained Certified Nurse-Midwife, Karen studied the midwife system in Indonesia, investigated low-tech solutions for remote areas, and prepared lesson plans based on the needs identified by the volunteers and physicians at Project ASRI.

Government trained midwives look on during a session on how to properly use the infant ambu bags provided by the Osbourne Foundation.Karen brought crucial equipment with her, like baby-sized ventilator bags and sterile birthing tools, critical to the trainings. The program attracted over 90% of the local midwives and 20 TBAs. The training covered sterilization techniques, handling obstructed labor, bleeding, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for babies who weren’t breathing, and kangaroo care for premature infants.


Global Change on a Local Level

The Forest Guardians program, funded by the prestigious British Whitley Award presented to Dr. Hotlin Ompusunggu, began with an amazing five-day workshop focused on the forest, the impending dangers of illegal logging, and creative solutions to the deforestation problem. The participants, all carefully-selected village men concerned about illegal logging, learned about the state of the rain forest, and how it connects to the well-being of the people who live near it; the intersection of human and environmental health. After two intense days in the classroom, the group headed for the forest. The men were taught to identify trees, animals, and other plants and how to share this information with local communities. In addition to our ASRI volunteers, Gunung Palung National Park staff members also participated in the training- illustrating, once again, our dedication to partnering with local governments and communities to create global change.

Planetary Health Begins with You

Health In Harmony realizes we are running out of time to save the precious natural habitats and resources that hold the key to human health around the globe. Every day, we take steps to improve human and environmental health. Join us on our path to global health, chose one of these easy steps:

Donate today at www/ Your donation works toward saving trees, lives, habitats and, yes, planet earth. Thank you!

Become a volunteer. Visit us at

Give a gift of need. Visit our Amazon Wish List to see what is most needed at Project ASRI: Wishlist

Thanks to all of you, the HIH family, for tuning in and keeping up with our program tales.

Enjoy the summer,

The HIH team

This August, join us on a journey to Borneo to see ASRI for yourself and experience the hospital's soft opening. Hurry! Space is limited.