Galela - On Thursday (12/12), escorted by her parents and family, dr. Siti Lirih Chumairoh has safely arrived at Soekarno Hatta airport. A graduate medical doctor of Sebelas Maret University Surakarta will go to Galela, North Hamahera regency, North Maluku province, along with Islamiyah Samaun (Clinical Coordinator MER-C for Indonesia). Dr Siti will serve as “PTT Doctor” (Temporary Doctor) at Social Clinic of BNI Berbagi with MER-C on Galela region, replacing dr Dewintha Airene that has been on duty for one year.

 Galela is a region that has dark history due to conflict. To reach the area, it will need a long journey through air, land and sea transports. A flight from Jakarta to Ternate, North Maluku capital, will need around 6 hours of time. From the airport continued by road trip to Kota Bary port would take half an hour, then taking speedboat about 1 hour to Sofifi.

The journey has not finished yet, from Sofifi, should take approximately 4 hours road trip or around 200 km, throughout the winding roads, in and out of the woods to finally reach Tobelo, the capital of North Halmahera. From there to Galela is still within 1 more hour. At Towara village, the place of Social Clinic of BNI Berbagi and MER-C, all volunteers of MER-C each year are ready to provide medical service for Galela community and its surroundings.

Social Clinic program in Galela has been running since October 2006. Medical service is started from Monday to Saturday on 8 am to 4 pm. However, the doctors and staffs must be ready for service since many patients also come in the night for medical treatment. The doctors sometimes should visit their patients at home due to difficult access to patients’ house and they need help soon. Being a doctor in a remote area does not have fixed time, even it is in a raining-middle of the night, a doctor should help their patients.

In addition of a program at the clinic, there is also a routine mobile clinic program which is conducted once a week at the Patronage Village of the clinic. The patronage village of the clinic is a Limau village which is at a distance of 25 km. Limau village is chosen due to its far location from health centre and should go through the river, that is in the rainy season, people could not go over the river due to flooding. A trip to Patronage Village could be reached by the doctors and clinic staffs by two motorcycles.

Limau Village community consists of Muslim and Christians. The village itself is an malaria endemic region, many Tuberculosis and leprosy cases have been found. One main thing that become MER-C team focus is malnourished children. Clinical team for that matter will combine medical treatment with integrated health centre in the area. The MER-C team also plans to provide nutriments for toddlers, and it will cooperate with local midwives and integrated health centre staffs once a month.

Until now there have been 5 MER-C’s volunteer doctors assigned periodically to Galela. Dr Siti Lirih Chumairoh is the next doctor which is ready to serve for the upcoming one year at Galela, in where MER-C and local community has also been building a hospital.





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