NEWS RELEASE #12: MERCY Malaysia has identified the location for 150 transit homes for people affected by the earthquake

PALU, 31 October 2018… MERCY Malaysia has identified Kelurahan Lere, Palu, as the location for the installation of 150 transit homes for people affected by the earthquake and tsunami four weeks ago. The transit home site was officiated today by Drs H Moh Hidayat Lamakarate, the District Secretariat of Central Sulawesi.

The city of Palu has begun its long and arduous journey to recovery, yet many remain displaced as their homes and entire life belongings were swept away during the tsunami. The AHA Centre estimates the number of displaced people to be 206,494.
Some villagers whose houses collapsed during the earthquake have tried to salvage what little they could from the rubble of what used to be their homes. “We greatly appreciate what MERCY Malaysia has done in Palu to help our people,” says Hidayat. “Since the disaster took place, many have lost their loved ones, their homes, and everything else. With MERCY Malaysia’s support, the people feel they have hope and a helping hand.”

Since the disaster happened, MERCY Malaysia has established 57 transit homes for over 60 families in two sites in the Tipo area. The upcoming 150 units at Kelurahan Lere is expected to be completed in 2 weeks’ time, and will include facilities such as toilets, water stations with tube wells, electricity, cooking areas, recreation areas, and a prayer room.
“The Kelurahan Lere site will also house a Child Friendly Space, where we will be conducting psychosocial activities for the local children whose schooling has been disrupted due to damaged schools,” says Norazam Ab Samah, MERCY Malaysia’s executive council member and team leader of the Palu humanitarian response.

MERCY Malaysia expects to continue providing aid to the people of Palu for the next three months, with plans to build at least 1,000 transit shelters and 10 communal toilets to address the severe lack of sanitation and hygiene. Funds are urgently needed to provide shelter and essential household items to more families whose lives are forever changed.
Contributions can be made to MERCY Humanitarian Fund (MBB 5621 7950 4126) or MERCY Malaysia (CIMB 8000-7929-08) or through www.www.mercy.org.my. All contributions are tax-exempted.

Bedah guna penebuk dinding

Intan Mas Ayu Shahimi
imas@hmetro.com.my

PERTEMUAN dengan wanita ini hanya mengambil masa kurang satu jam memandangkan Prof Madya Dr Shalimar Abdullah, terpaksa menghadiri mesyuarat di sebelah petang.

Sebaik menyapa di pintu masuk, Dr Shalimar terus mengatur langkah ke ruang kosong. Sesi bergambar juga diadakan secara ringkas. Apa yang utama adalah pengalaman dan cerita menarik beliau sebagai pakar bedah orthopedik dan sukarelawan.

Memulakan cerita, kata anak kelahiran Kuala Lumpur ini, dia mual berkhidmat sebagai pegawai perubatan di Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (PPUKM) sejak 1998. Selepas melanjutkan pelajaran dalam bidang kepakaran orthopedik, barulah dia berkhidmat sebagai pensyarah dan pakar bedah pada 2005.

“Mungkin kerana adanya minat untuk mengembara dan mencuba sesuatu yang baru, saya mengambil keputusan menyertai Mercy Malaysia, sekali gus menyumbang kepakaran dalam pelbagai misi kemanusiaan sejak 18 tahun dulu,” katanya.

Menurut Dr Shalimar, dia mengutip banyak pengalaman manis, pahit, getir dan cabaran sepanjang bergelar sukarelawan. Berbeza dengan kebanyakan individu yang mungkin datang ke lokasi bergolak untuk membantu, dia pula terpaksa melakukan lebih daripada itu.

“Misi pertama saya adalah ke Sabah dan Sarawak. Ketika itu, saya bertugas sebagai pegawai perubatan di klinik bergerak untuk penduduk Kadazan yang tinggal di kawasan pedalaman.

“Selepas itu, barulah saya berkesempatan mengikuti misi antarabangsa ke Afghanistan. Kunjungan pasukan perubatan ke sana adalah selepas lebih setahun tamatnya pergolakan.

“Menariknya, di situ saya melihat kebanyakan wanita memakai purdah, lelakinya pula berkopiah, berserban dan berjanggut. Bagaimanapun, setiap kali tiba waktu solat, mereka tidak mendirikan rukun Islam kedua berkenaan. Hal ini saya tanyakan kepada penterjemah dan barulah tahu rupanya mereka tidak tahu bagaimana mendirikan solat.

“Masyarakat di sana ketika itu tidak mempunyai asas pendidikan agama yang mengajar mereka membaca al-Quran dan mendirikan solat. Tahulah saya apa yang kita tengok di televisyen itu ada masanya tidak sama dengan hakikat sebenar. Kita mungkin nampak mereka warak dengan wanitanya menutup seluruh tubuh kecuali mata, tetapi pakaian itu hanyalah sebahagian daripada budaya mereka,” katanya.

PERBEZAAN KETARA

Semakin dekat wanita ini dengan kerja kemanusiaan, makin tinggi jugalah pemahaman Dr Shalimar terhadap kelainan budaya, penerimaan, keperluan dan kehendak sebenar penduduk di negara bergolak, mangsa bencana mahupun masyarakat yang terasing daripada kelompok majoriti.

“Pernah suatu ketika, di Afghanistan, seorang pesakit wanita datang kepada saya dan memberitahu dia sukar mendapatkan anak. Saya simpati dan bertanya adalah dia pernah keguguran?

“Tidak sangka apabila wanita berkenaan menjawab dia sebenarnya sudah mempunyai lima anak. Saya agak bingung kerana sekejap tadi wanita berkenaan kata dia susah mendapat anak.

“Menjawab pertanyaan saya, katanya dia mahu sembilan anak kerana semua ahli keluarganya turut mempunyai sembilan anak, sedangkan dia hanya ada lima. Bagi diri saya, permintaan itu memberi satu pengalaman unik ketika bersama mereka,” katanya tertawa.

Jelas Dr Shalimar, sekalipun tahu bagaimana peritnya berada di negara terjejas, dia tidak pernah mengalah. Baginya kepuasan membantu orang yang lebih memerlukan itu sukar hendak digambarkan dengan kata-kata.

“Sebagai manusia, kita selalu terlupa dan tidak sedar betapa banyaknya nikmat dan anugerah yang Tuhan beri termasuk keluarga, makan, minum, tempat tinggal, keselamatan, keamanan dan keselesaan hidup. Sedangkan mereka yang tinggal di negara bergolak, dihempas tsunami atau digegarkan dengan gempa hilang segala-galanya sekelip mata.

“Keluarga dan saudara mati terkorban, keamanan tergugat, infrastruktur hancur, jalan raya tiada, bahkan pengangkutan juga terhad. Jadi, apalah kiranya jika kita yang ada di Malaysia ini meringankan tangan membantu mereka yang kesusahan. Apabila saya melihat sendiri keadaan masyarakat di negara terjejas, saya insaf. Saya tahu, inilah kewajipan saya. Saya perlu terus membantu orang lain dengan kelebihan yang ada.

“Kalau dulu saya pergi sebagai pegawai perubatan biasa, hari ini saya sudah bergelar pakar ortopedik. Saya ambil kesempatan sebanyak mungkin untuk merawat dan melakukan pembedahan di kem perlindungan. Dari situlah saya semakin mengenal ruang dan peluang,” katanya.

Bercerita lanjut pengalamannya sebagai pakar bedah di lapangan, Dr Shalimar berkata, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia dan Filipina banyak mendidik dirinya menjadi seorang yang kreatif dalam membuat sebarang keputusan.

“Di Afghanistan misalnya, ketika merawat pesakit di sana, saya terpaksa menggunakan jarum dan benang seperti orang menjahit untuk menutup luka pesakit. Ketika gempa di Pakistan pada 2005 pula, kita berdepan situasi agak lucu kerana tiada pengimejan sinar-X. Sukar untuk menentukan siapa yang patah. Jadi, sebagai langkah berjaga-jaga, semua pesakit yang berisiko saya letak simen.

“Saya juga pernah melakukan pembedahan di Jogjakarta ketika gempa 2008. Peralatan di sana memang kurang memuaskan. Jadi, suka atau tidak, kita terpaksa menggunakan apa yang ada. Kebetulan skru untuk ‘plating’ tulang hanya satu saiz dan saya terpaksa potong sendiri untuk mendapatkan ukuran yang sepatutnya.

“Kalau hendak diikutkan, secara prinsipnya skru tidak boleh dipotong kerana akan tumpul. Kalau kita masukkan ke dalam tulang, ia akan mematikan tulang berkenan. Namun, kita terpaksa juga buat untuk menyelamatkan pesakit. Malah, di Filipina juga keadaannya sama.

“Kemudian di Jogjakarta dan Filipina juga mereka tidak ada mesin gerudi khas untuk pembedahan hinggakan kita terpaksa menggunakan penebuk dinding. Ini kalau dikira pengalaman sendiri, saya pun tidak pernah guna untuk pembedahan. Tapi di sana memang mereka biasa guna. Memang saya terkejut apabila mereka hulur penebuk dinding. Oleh kerana keadaan begitu, saya tidak dapat melakukan pembedahan rumit kerana masalah peralatan. Hanya pembedahan kecil saya buat.

“Pesakit yang mempunyai kanser kaki juga tidak dapat menjalani ujian dan rawatan sepatutnya. Apabila mereka sampai saja dan kita kesan adanya ketumbuhan, kaki terpaksa dipotong. Tiada imbasan MRI atau ujian perubatan lain sebab semua kemudahan itu tak ada.

“Paling menyedihkan, mereka yang dibedah di Filipina tidak diberi rawatan pemulihan seperti fisioterapi dan rehabilitasi. Habis saja pembedahan dan keadaan stabil, mereka akan dibenarkan pulang dan tunggu saja sehingga pulih. Agak kasihan jika terpaksa berdepan pesakit yang mempunyai masalah teruk,” katanya.

TAKUT MASIH ADA

Selepas dunia digemparkan dengan gempa bumi dasar laut bermagnitud 9.0 dan tsunami di Jepun, Dr Shalimar bersama rakan sukarelawan lain turun padang untuk menghulurkan bantuan.

Bayangkan, badai tsunami dahsyat dengan ketinggian 15.5 meter itu bukan setakat menyapu bersih kejiranan dan membunuh puluhan ribu mangsa, malah turut menyebabkan kemusnahan besar pada Loji Janakuasa Nuklear Fukushima Daiichi 4,700MW yang terletak di pantai wilayah Fukushima.

“Jepun memberi pengalaman luar biasa dan menakutkan. Sesiapa pun pasti gerun apabila mengingatkan bencana gempa, tsunami dan radiasi nuklear yang berlaku. Saya sendiri memang gerun apabila memikirkan kesan nuklear. Media dan orang di sekeliling pula bercerita berkenaan angin yang membawa radiasi.

“Jadi, ketika menjalankan misi di sana, kepala saya ligat memikirkan pelbagai kemungkinan sama ada saya akan mendapat leukemia dan kanser. Biarpun wakil dari Jabatan Radiologi ikut serta, kita tidak tahu bacaan sebenar sehinggalah pulang ke Malaysia.

“Saya berada di sana selama lima hari. Pulang saja ke tanah air, kita dapat tahu sebenarnya tiada radiasi pun. Cuma fikiran memang terganggu. Saya cukup bersimpati dengan penduduk yang terjejas di sana kerana mereka langsung tidak ada tempat untuk di tuju.

“Selain itu, gempa di Palu, Sulawesi, baru-baru ini juga meninggalkan kesan besar buat diri saya. Walaupun sudah banyak menyertai misi di lokasi bencana gempa bumi, keadaan di Palu berbeza. Setiap hari, ada saja gegaran susulan yang besar sekitar magnitud 5.2 atau 4.5. Kalau di tempat lain, mungkin ada sekali atau tak ada gegaran susulan, di sini saya takut dan bimbang dihempap siling.

“Hanya selepas seminggu, barulah saya boleh balik ke Malaysia dan menarik nafas lega. Bagaimana agaknya masyarakat di Palu yang berdepan trauma besar dalam hidup mereka, kemudian diancam pula gempa kecil setiap hari. Pasti sukar untuk mereka melelapkan mata,” katanya mengakhiri temu bual itu.

Artikel ini disiarkan pada : Khamis, 1 November 2018 @ 5:01 AM

baca lagi: https://www.hmetro.com.my/hati/2018/11/391402/bedah-guna-penebuk-dinding

NEWS RELEASE #11: MERCY Malaysia expands aid to more villages at Palu

Kuala Lumpur, 23 October 2018… As the people in Palu, Sulawesi, begin picking up their lives following the earthquake and tsunami three weeks ago, MERCY Malaysia’s relief aid is being expanded to cover more affected sites. Recovery programmes are focused mainly on establishing transit homes (temporary shelters), building communal toilets and providing medical and psychosocial services.

The ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) had earlier reported about 88,000 people displaced. As the actual data from affected sites begin coming in, AHA Centre’s latest report shows that over 222,000 people have been displaced.

With such a big number of people losing their homes, shelter remains a top priority. To date, MERCY Malaysia has installed 50 units of transit homes at two sites of Tipo, Sigi. The homes, which are modelled as close to possible to their previous homes, can house a family of eight comfortably. Each shelter also came equipped with a small over-arching verandah, windows and lighting system.

“Many families have already moved in to their transit homes as they come to terms with the devastation of the double disasters that hit their land,” says Norazam Ab Samah, MERCY Malaysia’e exco member and team leader in Palu.

There are still aftershocks happening every other day, the latest being a 5.2 RS that struck at midnight yesterday. “For safety reasons, the locals prefer to stay in transit homes even if their houses did not collapse,” he says. MERCY Malaysia targets to install 300 units in the upcoming month at other sites within the worst-hit district of Sibalaya.

As the displaced communities are currently living in congested surroundings, W.A.S.H facilities are severely limited. At the collapsed Sibalaya Market where over 500 people were previously sharing one toilet, the lack of hygiene such as open defecation poses serious problems.

MERCY Malaysia has since built two units of communal toilets for the Sibalaya community, where villagers can shower, wash and do their business. Four more units equipped with septic drums and water storage tanks will be built in Tipo and Jono Oge.

Meanwhile, the psychosocial team has conducted a train-the-trainer programme for 80 university students from Institut Agama Islam Negeri Palu (IAIN) at the IAIN Dewan Awla. The week-long programme will cover various psychosocial modules such as ‘Adult Coping Skills’ and ‘Child Friendly Space’ to help different target audiences.

“Trauma Healing, which involves more than just play and talk therapy, is still a relatively new specialty in Indonesia,” explains Norazam. Students who have undergone the training will later be divided into four groups to conduct psychosocial assessments and therapy at different sites under the supervision and guidance of MERCY Malaysia’s trainers.

The NGO estimates that they will continue providing aid for at least three months more at Palu. Urgent funds are needed to help them continue their work. Donations collected are at RM817,015.88 (as of 23 October 2018), with RM390,760 spent so far.

Contributions can be made to MERCY Humanitarian Fund (MBB 5621 7950 4126) or MERCY Malaysia (CIMB 8000-7929-08) or through www.www.mercy.org.my. All contributions are tax-exempted.

Wah Seong holds charity car wash for Palu victims

Kuala Lumpur, 19 October 2018… Wah Seong Corporation Berhad raised RM50,000 in a charity car wash held recently at its Bukit Kemuning facilities in support of MERCY Malaysia’s post-disaster recovery aid for the people in Palu.

Over 100 staff, suppliers, friends and customers across their four subsidiary companies – PMT Industries Sdn Bhd, Mackenzie Industries Sdn Bhd, Jutasama Sdn Bhd, WDG Resources Sdn Bhd – participated in the event, with around 80 cars and one excavator being washed by staff volunteers.

“When we heard about the earthquakes and tsunami from the news, we immediately wanted to lend a hand,” said Chan Cheu Leong, Group CEO of Wah Seong Group. The Group deals with Oil and Gas industries and is a leading distributor for steam turbines in oil palm industries. Wah Seong has businesses in South Sulawesi, as well as other parts of Indonesia such as Batam, Medan, Kalimantan, Java and Papua.

Although the emergency phase of the disaster is now over, Chan expressed concern for the psychological health of the survivors, stating that they would be traumatized forever.

The ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) report 78,994 people who are displaced (as of 15 October 2018), with almost 70,000 houses  damaged.

“We are heartbroken hearing about mothers whose babies were snatched out of their arms in the tsunami, people whose entire families are still missing after the earthquake, children who are falling sick because of sleeping outdoors in cold and damp conditions in the last three weeks. Hopefully our little contribution can make a difference in the lives of these survivors,” adds Chan.

Although the charity car wash was organised in less than two weeks, he was surprised at the response. “It was good to see such a good turnout! Initially only around 20 cars had registered for the car wash. It later ballooned to almost 80 cars during the event. I told everyone it didn’t matter how much they donated, what was important was that they cared about our Sulawesi neighbours during this time of crisis,” he stresses.

The group also runs Yayasan Wah Seong (YWS), which has provided scholarships to academically strong students who need financial support since 2008. In the last decade, the YWS has spent over RM2.3 million for 95 scholarships to students in private and public universities in Malaysia.

“After being in business for so long, we know that we cannot just focus on profits. People and the environment are important, and profits are only sustainable if we invest in human and environmental development. We hope that today’s event will instill the spirit and culture of caring for the unfortunate,” says Chan.

To date, MERCY Malaysia has collected RM725,085.88, which is being utilized for medical services, food and non-food items, as well as the construction of transit homes and communal toilets. So far, two sets of communal toilets and 30 transit homes have been established, with another 170 more transit homes in the works. More latrines and transit homes are being planned, as they have been identified as the major need on the ground.

MERCY Malaysia has also deployed a team of mental health practitioners, who will conduct psychosocial programmes for children and families. The team will help the people affected to cope with the trauma they experienced and  manage psychosomatic symptoms such as problem sleeping, depression, unexplained aches and pains.

Contributions can be made to MERCY Humanitarian Fund (MBB 5621 7950 4126) or MERCY Malaysia (CIMB 8000-7929-08) or through www.www.mercy.org.my. All contributions are tax-exempted.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Chan Li Jin         E: lijin.chan@www.mercy.org.my  /    M:+6012-325 2067