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Medical aid reaches youngest and most vulnerable in Indonesia

  • June 21, 2011

On the island of Borneo, medicines donated by AmeriCares to Health In Harmony’s ASRI Clinic help treat the dire medical needs of families living in the small villages that surround Gunung Palung National Park, home to the world’s oldest rainforest. In this remote area of Indonesia known as West Kalimantan, one-quarter of the children die before their fifth birthday, mothers often succumb from complications during childbirth, and even a simple cut on the hand can lead to infection and death without access to tetanus shots or antibiotics.Through our Medical Outreach Program, AmeriCares provides critical medicines and supplies to doctors and health care professionals who travel overseas to volunteer medical care to people in need like the many Indonesian villagers who live in one of the 23 rural communities situated around the national park. Curing a Little Boy’s InfectionA six-year-old boy recently came to the ASRI Clinic because of a terrible pain in his mouth.  After examining him, the doctors discovered he had an infected abscess and several cavities from tooth decay.  Thanks to AmeriCares recent donation of medicines, the clinic had the necessary antibiotics to treat the little boy’s infection so he could see the clinic dentist for further care.Another Young Patient is Saved from SurgeryPale and weak, eight-year-old Tari was brought to the clinic after experiencing more than a week of excruciating pain in her belly.  The Indonesian doctors and the visiting U.S. volunteer physicians clustered around her bed and everyone agreed on her diagnosis—appendicitis. However the prospect of surgery at the city hospital, which was hours away, to remove Tari’s appendix was a grim one for her family.  The average household income of the 60,000 residents in this area is about $13 a month, making it nearly impossible for most families to afford medical care or to travel hours away to the nearest hospital for costly diagnostic tests. 

Tari, completely recovered, with Dr. Lucy and a new friend.

Tari, completely recovered, with Dr. Lucy and a new friend.The family had no alternative and put all their hopes into the clinic and its limited resources. Fortunately, the clinic had just received an AmeriCares donation of medicines. Tari was able to receive a course of powerful antibiotics to treat her appendicitis – and it worked. Tari and her family left the clinic smiling.AmeriCares commitment to provide clinics like ASRI with antibiotics, antiseptic dressings, sutures and so many other medications helps ensure these essentials are available when an emergency, injury or illness occurs. With recent donations of antibiotics, pain relievers and other medicines, AmeriCares provided the volunteer medical team at the ASRI Clinic with vital medicines to restore health and help save lives.Dr. Brooke Cotter, a U.S. physician who volunteered at the clinic, was extremely grateful for the donations. “Seeing firsthand the needs of this community—let me assure you that your donations are so deeply appreciated,” she told AmeriCares. “And definitely needed.”AmeriCares Medical Outreach Program donates medicines and medical supplies to U.S.-based health care professionals providing volunteer medical care to people in desperate need in 71 countries around the world. Depending upon their focus and needs, the teams receive products from a wide range of primary care medications, anesthesia and surgical supplies. In 2010, the program provided nearly $62 million worth of critical medicines and supplies to 1,061 teams working overseas or providing charitable orthopedic surgeries in the U.S. Read MoreDonate Now