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Local Indonesian Groups Continue Medical Outreach in Disaster-Impacted Areas


Indonesia Earthquake 2018

Devastation in Palu, Indonesia, is pictured on October 9, 2018. Responding in the area are members of the Muhammadiyah Disaster Management Center, which has been conducting search and rescue in the days since the earthquake and tsunami struck, as well as medical outreach, shelter care and food distribution. Direct Relief is supporting MDMC with funding to continue their critical work in the region as recovery begins. (Photo courtesy of MDMC)

The death toll surrounding the Indonesia earthquake and tsunami has risen to more than 2,000 people, and groups on the ground are working around the clock to continue the response.

Direct Relief is supporting the Muhammadiyah Disaster Management Center, which is conducting search and rescue, as well as medical outreach throughout the affected area.

More than 2,700 health facilities were damaged during the disasters, leaving limited options for those needing immediate medical care.

Over the weekend, a MDMC team traveled to several areas of Central Sulawesi that had been inaccessible since the earthquake struck the region and were still isolated.

Muhammadiyah staff were transported via helicopter from the Indonesian Air Force, and provided health services to several locations. Dr. Dentino Willi, a volunteer from Muhammadiyah Hospital in Lamongan, was one of the doctors offering health services to patients in the region.

Dr. Willi said that the areas served over the weekend were in need of health services and had been unreachable in the days since the earthquake. “Many people complain that they have health problems,” he said. One patient seen had a broken bone and was immediately referred to Wirabuana Hospital.

The medical team was also able to medically evacuate a 14-day-old baby that had been born prematurely at 28 weeks just before the earthquake hit. MDMC staff were able to evacuate the newborn to a nearby hospital for medical care.

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