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In West Kalimantan, isolated and remote villages struggle to access health care facilities and must often travel several hours through harsh terrain to reach a hospital. ASRI responded by creating a mobile clinic that provides basic care to thousands of people in distant communities through monthly visits. Immunization is a critical part of the program, as some regions have immunization rates as low as 20%. The mobile clinic has also started a health care savings program, whereby community members can donate seedlings for reforestation to ASRI and create a “savings account” with the clinic so that they are covered in the event of a medical emergency.
*Photo credit: Bryan Watt
All photos by family doctor Diane Dakin, a volunteer with Health In Harmony at ASRI. Click on any photo to see slideshow (you may need to wait a moment for photos to load).
January’s latest and greatest reads on deforestation, global health, and everything in between.
Welcome to our Volunteer Resources page! Below you will find links to documents and websites that will help you plan your trip to ASRI and prepare for life in the town of Sukadana. If you have any questions about the information in these materials, please contact Amy.
These documents pertain to all volunteers, and we hope you will take the time to read through each of them. They contain lots of helpful tips for planning as well as staying happy, healthy, and safe while volunteering.
Other Helpful Resources
*Photo credit: Indah Prihatin
Show your friend or loved one how much they mean to you with a gift that they will cherish and remember. This holiday season, give the gift of healthy people and a healthy planet.
*Each gift is 100% tax deductible (we will mail you a gift receipt).
NOTE: If you’d like the gift recipient to receive a mailed card before Christmas, the gift must be purchased by Sunday, December 18th at 11:59pm PST. If you’d like the gift recipient to receive an e-card before Christmas, the gifts must be purchased by Friday, December 23rd at 2pm PST.
Patient’s Medical Care – $10
A routine medical appointment costs $10 at the ASRI clinic. For the communities living around Gunung Palung National Park, who on average live on $186 a month, paying for health care can be a huge burden for a family. Save a life today by making a gift that helps cover a patient’s medical care in honor of your loved one.
In West Borneo, ASRI Kids is the only after-school program that teaches students about the importance of protecting the rain forest. Many of their lessons involve hands-on activities like making recycled paper or drawing the wildlife they see in the forest. Make it possible for these students to creatively learn about forest stewardship with a gift today.
With help from ASRI’s farming training, loggers are putting down their chainsaws and picking up shovels. They learn sustainable farming methods, including making natural fertilizers and pesticides, which are less expensive and healthier for people and the planet. Your gift helps farmers protect the rain forest and grow healthy food.
Orangutan Habitat – $100
Save one of the last viable orangutan populations in the world by making a gift that will help plant trees in our partner ASRI’s reforestation sites. Show your loved one how much you care by making a gift to protect critically endangered orangutans from extinction.
Pair of Goats for a Widow – $250
For widows who are raising families alone and have a limited means of income, a pair of goats can mean the world. With just two goats, widows can generate a sustainable source of income by selling the offspring, making manure for their gardens, or selling the manure to other farmers. Make a gift in honor of your loved one that empowers women, strengthens families, and supports sustainable agriculture.
For the rural villages around Gunung Palung National Park, it can take between 6-12 hours to reach the nearest medical professional. Many of these communities rely on ASRI’s monthly mobile clinic trips to see a doctor. Celebrate the season of giving by bringing medical care to communities that would not otherwise be able to see a doctor.
Nurse’s Salary – $1,000
Each day, ASRI’s nurses educate patients, advise the doctors, run lab tests, and administer vaccines. Many of them were born and raised in the villages around Gunung Palung National Park, and they work incredibly hard to provide excellent patient care. This holiday season, help take care of them by making a gift that helps cover a nurse’s salary.
Guest blog by Felona Gunawan
Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I never moved to the United States. It was partly to satisfy this curiosity that I decided to go to Sukadana, Indonesia for my rotation as a Johnson and Johnson Global Health Scholar. I was both nervous and excited. Nervous because I was not sure what to expect: will people still be able to understand my elementary level Indonesian? Have the social and political climates changed much from when I moved in 1999? How much can a doctor with Western training that depends so much on technology contribute? Thankfully, a lot of these fears quickly dissipated soon after my arrival in Sukadana. Not necessarily because these challenges were not present, but more so because of the amazing and dedicated staff and community. Moreover, my experience in Sukadana has allowed me to reconnect with the humanitarian aspect of medicine that is often lost in the practice of Western medicine.
This weekend, the ASRI staff was all hands on deck to help with a BIG transition – moving the clinic into the new hospital building!
Guest blog by Vince O’Hara
Only 17% of my fellow Americans are “alarmed” by climate change, according to a recent survey. More than half (55%) rank climate change last among 23 competing political priorities.
As someone alarmed by climate change, this news is alarming. When I look around and see rising temperatures, increasing carbon emissions, declining forests, dying seas, booming human population, mass displacement, and surging migration, alongside an admirable yet insufficient international agreement that assumes that we will make fundamental economic shifts by mid-century or otherwise face unimaginable heat, I cannot help but be alarmed.
Guest blog by Maggie Gumbinner
Last month, a group of nine Health In Harmony supporters traveled to Sukadana in West Kalimantan, where our partner ASRI operates, as part of the 2016 Friendship Tour. On the trip, they met members of the ASRI staff, saw the rain forest that they helped reforest, talked to the patients whose lives were saved at the clinic, and watched the hospital grow before their eyes. Below, Health In Harmony Board Vice President and trip participant Maggie Gumbinner shares her reflection from the trip.
In Indonesia, doctors must pay to complete their medical residency, creating a wide gap between those who can afford specialized training and those who cannot. Not only is this an inequitable system, but it means that rural areas are often void of skilled doctors. A small group of Health In Harmony donors has already given $110,000 to three former ASRI doctors currently completing their residencies. These doctors plan to return to ASRI and serve as required specialists in the Community Hospital and Training Center for five years. But they need $74,000 to finish their education. You can help keep them in school with a donation today.
Below, we share the stories of these three doctors.
A fundamental part of Health In Harmony’s mission is to improve the health of the people we serve. By building the Community Hospital and Training Centerin rural West Borneo, Indonesia, our organization, in partnership with ASRI, is able to provide the education and services that Indonesians need to provide health care in Indonesia, allowing people to stay healthy and live longer.
Over the past two weeks, a group of nine Health In Harmony supporters have been traveling around Sukadana in West Kalimantan, where our partner ASRI operates. On this trip, they’ve had the opportunity to meet members of the ASRI staff, see the rain forest that they helped reforest, talk to the patients whose lives were saved at the clinic, and watch the hospital grow before their eyes. Below, Health In Harmony Board Vice President and trip participant Maggie Gumbinner shares a series of beautiful photos from their journey. Next stop: Bali! Read More
We’re back with another edition of Research Rundown! This month, Health In Harmony Research Director, Bethany Kois, interviewed Herfina Nababan, a volunteer who recently returned to ASRI after seven years to conduct 71 in-person interviews with members of the community for a realist evaluation aimed at uncovering Health In Harmony’s theory of the change. Below she shares how ASRI has changed since her last trip, and what brought her back after so many years! Read More
“I joined the board of HIH because HIH provides an integrated approach to meeting needs relevant to both human and environmental health. While my clinical and drug development work have focused on individuals and on specific diseases, work with HIH enables me to apply my experience to global needs that are both urgent and amenable to intervention.”
Guest blog by Jessie Kittle
Seven years of advanced and expensive training in the US has prepared me to be an attending in a few months. Particularly in my practice setting, expensive and complex interventions are the norm and sometimes benefit the patient. I’ve recognized throughout the years that the system that shaped me has some serious flaws. Health care access is often disparate, and we spend more time facing the computer than our patients. Futile care at the end of life and over-utilization of expensive interventions are common, and the bankrupting of patients occurs regularly (and beyond the view of doctors who contributed). I have sometimes felt my passion for this version of doctoring wane, and I came to ASRI seeking the holistic ideal of connecting with patients and improving the community with my practice.
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.
Last August, Cargo Inc, located just blocks from our office in SE Portland, invited us to participate in an art show in their beautiful brick warehouse. The shop is mesmerizing, expertly decorated with trinkets from all over the world – strings of fabric elephants, bowls of bright blue evil eye beads, flowing tunics, and an entire basement full of rustic furniture.
The final post in our Volunteer Appreciation Month series! An interview with Jeff Wyatt, who has been a donor, volunteer, and Board Member at Health In Harmony – someone that we are so thankful to have in this organization. His unique journey with Health in Harmony is a testament to his commitment to a healthy planet with healthy people. Interview edited for length and clarity. Read More