SLEMAN (KU) – Not all students of UGM have decided to return home during the academic time-off following the volcanic eruptions of Mt. Merapi. Some of them preferred to become volunteers to help Internally Displaced Persons. The students offered help based on their majors. One of the students is Kartika (20), who is on her fifth semester in Faculty of Pharmacy. She serves as druggist at the health unit at the shelter of Maguwoharjo Stadium. “I've been working here for three days. I did return home for one day, but rather than do nothing at home, I came back here to help with one or two things,” said the student from Salatiga, Central Java, when met at the Stadium on Wednesday (10/11).
She hoped that apart from voluntariy work, this would add to her experience in drug services as pharmacist. Kartika is one of 90 students of Pharmacy UGM joining volunteers of the Association of Indonesian Pharmacists (IAI). They are assigned to several IDP shelters in Sleman, Magelang, Klaten or Boyolali. Students of Pharmacy from other universities also joined them, including from Universitas Islam Indonesia (UII) and Universitas Sanata Dharma (USD). Each team serves at their own health unit, working in three shifts from 07.00-15.00, 15.00-23.00, and 23.00-07.00. These students of UGM do not offer help in one unit only. In one day they might work in two units with each taking up to 7 hours of their time. “From here, we will work on the night shift at the Gelanggang shelter,” said Ikhwatun Amirta.
Ipang Djunarko from the Ethical Assembly of Regional Pharmacists of IAI Yogyakarta, said that IAI assisted the health unit in each IDP shelter. IAI involves students from various universities. He mentioned that hundreds of students were involved. “We guide the students to exercise their competence,” he said.
He cited that there are various drugs demands. Antidepressant and hypertension drugs are most needed. “We have limited stocks of antidepressants while the demand is high,” said the Dean of USD Pharmacy Faculty.
Ipang said that in the first week after the first eruption, drugs that were required were cough medication, eyedrops, and gastritis medication. In the second week, drugs for fatigue, sore muscles and headache were much needed. The next was skin medication as sanitation was still poor in shelters.