Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Helping earthquake victims in Indonesia

5
OCT
2009

Aids Alliance

Indonesia has been hit by a series of earthquakes in the last month. Alliance Linking Organisation Rumah Cemara has been aiding victims of the earthquake that hit the island Java on 2 September.

The community-based group has been using its mobile clinic to support recovery efforts in the village of Mekarsari, near Bandung on the island of Java.

The magnitude 7.3 earthquake inflicted severe damage to 163 houses and two elementary schools in the village. Another 396 houses sustained lesser damage and eleven of the 5,600 inhabitants were injured.

“The victims have yet receive concrete support from the government,” reported Rumah Cemara on Friday. “Only NGOs have helped them so far, such as us and Nature Group.”

Rumah Cemara had previously been providing health care in Mekarsari through a mobile clinic, which targets areas with poor access to health services and high levels of injecting drug use, with funding from Johanniter International. After the earthquake, the local primary health care provider asked the organisation to bring emergency medical supplies to the community.

Rumah Cemara is also working with a student group called Indonesia Satu to help coordinate and direct homeless people in evacuation camps. The local military is providing some supplies to these camps but much more is needed, according to reports from Rumah Cemara.

Following the earthquake there has been an increase in respiratory infections and a rise in demand for medications including antibiotics, vitamins and painkillers. Food supplies are inadequate and there is a need for more blankets and clothes.

“Children and elderly people have developed post-traumatic syndrome,” says Rumah Cemara. “This makes them prefer to stay in the evacuation camps rather than go back to their homes.”

A report of the situation in Mekarsari has been submitted to the government.