Klinik ASRI is connecting human and environmental health by providing healthcare at affordable rates – including barter for reforestation supplies, organic manure for organic farming, native handicrafts and labor- as well a discounted ‘green credit’ system for villages not involved in illegal logging of the local Gunung Palung National Park. It’s the heart of ASRI’s work, providing a community space and invaluable healthcare, as well as symbolizing the key insight of Health In Harmony’s founder Kinari Webb: we must take care of human health and environmental health simultaneously.
“Now I realize how important the forest is for water, I keep trying to convince all my friends to give up logging. But the problem is that some of my friends get sick and need an operation. When they get better, they often do logging to try and pay back the money.”
Many others told us the same story. In a survey of 232 households, we found that 30% were in debt — and debt correlated highly with medical emergencies and poverty. In fact, 13% of the sample had a major medical emergency just in the past three months. Rainforest damage is one result.
Since the ASRI clinic opened in July 2007, the program staff has grown from eight to 50; they have treated more than 25,000 medical cases. Mobile clinics have treated 1,500 patients in isolated villages. The clinic never denies health care to anyone. Patients pay for care with seedlings, or even manure.
The clinic was designed to serve as a community resource. It offers:
- education about conservation and human health
- training in organic farming and animal husbandry
- additional discounts or “bonuses” for villages with no illegal logging in the past month
This is one of many important ways that the ASRI program integrates human and environmental health.
Mobile Clinic Services
The Gunung Palung National Park covers almost 350 square miles and is surrounded by struggling village communities, in 22 districts. Some districts are so remote that even the ASRI clinic is inaccessible. ASRI responded by creating a mobile clinic that has treated almost 1500 cases in these remote communities, providing service to an area of 10,000 people. Immunization is an important and growing part of this program, in a region that had an immunization rate as low as 20%.
Support our next mobile clinic visit with a gift of $250. Donate today.