The earthquake and tsunami occurring in Lombok, Palu and Donggala have added to the long list of disasters that strike Indonesia. The high exposure of community to disaster potential threats called for joint preparedness and awareness to deal with them. Each time a disaster happens, vulnerable groups such as babies, toddlers, pregnant mothers and senior adults are impacted. This emerged in a Talkshow at the Library’s Theatre of Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Nursing UGM on Wednesday (31/10).
Member of the Disaster team of the Faculty, dr. Bella Donna, S.K.M., M.Kes., said the vulnerable groups were prioritised in victims handling during disaster. “The vulnerable group becomes the priority to be saved and dealt with in terms of health,” said Bella.
Volunteers and medical teams sent to disaster areas ought to map the number of vulnerable groups in shelters and areas impacted by disaster. “The mapping is very important for mitigating the affected victims,” she said.
On the naming of disaster status, Bella left it to the government. The status naming of a disaster as a national disaster is not easy to do because the indicators of determining such status was based on indicators of number of casualties and level of damage and the capacity of the regional government.
The earthquake in Palu and Donggala, said Bella, although was not named as a national disaster, but the government allowed assistance from international medical workers depending on the needs.
"Palu does not need international health workers, there are already 60 bone surgeons working in Palu, but if the number is insufficient, we can ask specialists from other regions,” she said.
Bella that joined a health team in Palu said currently there were 2,600 volunteers staying in Central Sulawesi. Health workers are coordinating with the WHO. She said that currently the health workers were no longer dealing bone surgery but other diseases that were found among the refugees in the shelters.
"All medical workers, volunteers and local government staff can deal with it. The medical workers deal more with diseases that emerge in shelters because they still have to sleep in a tent,” she said.
Danang Samsurizal from the Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency Yogyakarta said each region normally found difficulties in sending their health workers to other impacted region due to the unavailability reserve funding for quick humanitarian response.In his opinion, each region had to allocate budget from third parties for humanitarian projects. “It needs reserve funds that are run from charity or CSR," he said.