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KORINDO Overcomes the Malnutrition Issue in Papua

By 9 February 2018October 21st, 2021Group News7 min read

The case of malnutrition in Papua is fairly high, including Boven Digoel. KORINDO Group also overcomes malnutrition through Mobile Clinic in remote villages. The communities felt really helped.

The malnutrition case in Asmat District, Papua, is really surprising for various parties. The other area, such as Boven Digoel, is facing the same thing. However, with the active role of private party that always provides assistance and intensive counseling, the malnutrition is able to be handled quickly.

It is like KORINDO Group has done through Asiki Clinic. The doctors and medical personnel provide various counseling and assistance for the community in remote area. Even through this program, the medical personnel of oil palm company from South Korea are directly headed to the remote villages.

The Head of Asiki Clinic, Dr Firman Jayawijaya said that the establishment of Asiki Clinic is intended to suppress the mortality rate of pregnant women. The clinic is in Asiki Clinic, Jair Sub- District, Boven Digoel District, Papua, operates for 24 hours. The doctors not only serve the visiting patients, but also conduct health counseling in school, radio, and in remote villages.

In fact, for every week, the doctors and medical personnel of Asiki Clinic head straight down to remote villages through the Digoel River. It is as Dr Firda has done when she was assigned in Ujung Kia Village. For three hours, the medical personnel crossed down the Digoel River with a motorboat.

Around 10.30 AM, Media Perkebunan team also arrived at Ujung Kia Village,  Jair Sub- District. There were more than 50 residents enthusiastically queued to get examination of various diseases. That area is located near the riverside and far away from health facilities. Motorboat is the only vehicle that can be used to reach the health treatment in community health centers (Puskesmas) or clinic.

Yosinta (20), one of villagers, claimed to be helped by the mobile clinic that visited her village. “Because this area is far from health clinic or doctors, so we are helped with the doctors that visit here,” said her to Media Perkebunan.

The clinic does not only provide free medicines. Through Korindo Group’s Mobile Service, the medical personnel also provide counseling about the importance of maintaining health condition. Various health needs, such as medicines, milk, and others are also provided for free.

Asiki Clinic, which was inaugurated earlier on September 2nd 2017, seems to be the mainstay clinic for the community. The clinic with modern facilities does not only serve patients from three sub- districts in Boven Digoel. Moreover, the people of Papua New Guinea also get treatment at Asiki Clinic.

Previously, Asiki Clinic was in the company area. However, due to the difficulty of direct access for the community, the Asiki Clinic is established outside the company area. “One of reasons the clinic is established outside the company area is to facilitate the access for surrounding community,” said Dr Firman who already joined since 2005.

Firman told that many people complained if they had to enter the company area and pass the guard post in order to reach the clinic. Finally, the Korindo management decided to build a clinic located at the outside the company area. Asiki Clinic is the main clinic established by Korindo Group. Meanwhile the purpose of the other clinics are located in the company area.

Improving the health services to surrounding community has become one of the goals of Asiki Clinic establishment. Not only that, the company also equips the clinic with modern facilities like in hospitals in district area or in big cities and supported by professional human resources.

Reducing the mortality rate for mothers in labor and infant is also the purpose of Asiki Clinic. In Boven Digoel, the mortality rate for mothers in labor and infant is still quite high as well as the tropical infectious diseases in Papua, such as malaria, HIV/ AIDS, and TBC.

“Because of that condition, Korindo is concerned with the health of community and intend to build a representative clinic. So that the community would not have to go far to get health treatment,” said Firman.

Asiki Clinic prioritizes the prevention act. Therefore, the doctors go down straight to the villages for twice in a month. With the mobile service program carried out for 4- 5 times in a month, the medical personnel also serve in remote area, outermost, and border area.

The other most important thing is, Asiki Clinic also prevent the community not to fall ill.  “We try to bring the health services closer. The access to the city or Puskesmas is quite far. Hence, we visit them instead. It is the company’s intention that is very concerned with health aspect,” said Firman.

Asiki Clinic is strengthened with five doctors, 12 nurses, two dental nurses, two midwives, an analyst, a pharmacist, and several administration staffs. In the near future, the clinic built on an area of 1.720 square meters will also be equipped with medical specialist, such as dentist, internist, and pediatrician.

Changing the mindset of indigenous Papuans who are more likely to cure diseases by conservative way would be a challenge for the doctors of Asiki Clinic. It is no wonder if the disease prevention is often handled too late. “The process of giving birth is still done with traditional way and they are reluctant to receive help from the medical personnel. Therefore, the first aid is a little bit late,” said Firman.

To stimulate the health- care community, especially infants, the clinic also establishes a program in the form of providing parcels that contain labor supplies such as baby clothes, supplementary food, diapers, and vitamins. Therefore the medical personnel always provide the education and counseling to prevent the community not to visit the clinic.

“We are not proud if the numbers of patients visit the clinic reached 14,000 persons in a year. We try to reduce the numbers of patients. It is because if they get sick, it will cost them money and time as well,” said Firman. Firman admitted, the highest rate of mortality for mothers and infants is in Papua. The malnutrition issue also can be found there. Hence, reducing the mortality rate and malnutrition become the main goal for the company.

Member of Regional Leadership Council (DPD),  I Ketut Arimbawa who was reviewing at that time, appreciated the health services provided by Korindo Group. Therefore, his party censures several Non- Government Organization (LSM) who often carry out negative campaigns with various allegations to oil palm company in Papua.

The same thing also affirmed by DPD member from Papua, Rev. Charles Simaremare. “Deforestation or human rights violations are not true. Therefore, please stop the black campaign so the Papuans will be able to improve their welfare. In fact, we are thankful for those companies that have invested in Papua,” he said.