“Until today [October 11], we still see patients with closed fractures due to the impact of the earthquake. We have been working closely with the Health Agency, and our mobile clinic team travels every day to provide access to health services for these patients,” said Dr. Rangi Wirantika, one of the doctors in the field.
Two local psychologists will soon join the team to provide mental health care to medical staff of the health centers and to those most affected by the disaster.
As services in Palu City are slowly resuming, the main priority now is to provide support to health centers in more remote areas to restart their primary health care activities and ensure the prevention of epidemics such as diarrhea, skin diseases, and measles. Restarting routine vaccination, data collection, and epidemiological surveillance for different diseases will also be part of the support provided by our team. Temporary structures for consultations and maternity services will also be installed, and access to sufficient clean water will be provided.
As part of the initial response, the MSF team, together with local communities, managed to access the medical stocks in a damaged clinic and transferred supplies to a neighboring house in order to restart medical consultations and provide medication.
"The affected communities have limited access to clean water, which is important to reduce the risk of possible epidemics. In some areas, people have to walk for up to two kilometers just to get water," said Timothius S.P. Benu, a water and sanitation specialist. The main goal for MSF will be to ensure that these communities have access to safe water, including by repairing or cleaning existing sources, such as hand pumps or wells, or setting up temporary solutions, such as water tanks and water treatment systems.
While conducting these activities, the MSF team will continue to assess the needs in surrounding areas and respond accordingly.
Copyright photo: Sri Harjanti Wahyuningsih/MSF