Kuala Lumpur, 10 October 2018…With the assets for the Field Hospital arriving in Palu today, MERCY Malaysia will focus on the setting up of the medical facilities within the coming week. Sibalaya Utara, located 31 km away from Kota Palu, has been identified as the site for the Field Hospital as it is among the worst-hit areas.
Despite the challenging circumstances, the Malaysian-based NGO’s humanitarian aid at disaster-struck Palu has been smooth-sailing, thanks to a standing partnership with the AHA Centre (ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management), and a sound working relationship with Agensi Pengurusan Bencana Negara (NADMA).
“At ground level, we are also working with and through NGO partners, such as PKPU Human Initiative, Medical Emergency Rescue Committee (MER_C), Rumah Sakit Umum Sis. Al Jufri and the local Rumah Sakit (district clinics),” explains Dato’ Dr Ahmad Faizal Perdaus, President of MERCY Malaysia.
In the aftermath of the Palu earthquake and tsunami, the government of Indonesia had earlier released a statement of the assistance required, which included heavy equipment, medical supplies, shelter kits and ready-to-eat foods. MERCY Malaysia’s response plan was then catered to that request, adds Dr Faizal.
The establishment of a Field Hospital at the worst-hit areas of Palu, he added, MERCY Malaysia had abided by the regulations of sending only medical assets and equipment.
“We respect the local government’s directive not to send any medical personnel because they have enough manpower on the island,” says Dr Faizal. “Indonesia is no stranger to natural disasters like this, and has sufficient capacity to manage with their local expertise. As foreigners, we can only play a supporting role to fill any missing gaps.”
MERCY Malaysia currently has 9 medical personnel and 4 non-medical personnel in Palu, conducting mobile clinics at hard-to-reach places on the island. In the following week, the Emergency Medical Team (EMT) will assist to establish the field hospital and provide training to the local medical team for continued management.
The organisation today distributed Hygiene Kits to 113 families from Desa Loli Saluran and Kecamatan Banawa in the Donggala district. Each kit contains soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shavers, sanitary napkins, underwear and towels for a family of four.
Urgent funds are needed to help the people affected, and every bit will make a difference. Donations collected are at RM498,258.63, with RM256,843.92 being spent to date.
Contributions can be made to MERCY Humanitarian Fund (MBB 5621 7950 4126) or MERCY Malaysia (CIMB 8000-7929-08) or through www.mercy.org.my. All contributions are tax-exempted.
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