Klukenuking Elementary School, located in Kawela Village, Wotan Ulu Mado Sub-district, East Flores, Indonesia.
It is situated at 1,000 meters above sea level, very remote and far from the capital of the sub-district. The elementary students of this village rarely get information about health issues although their schools has a Health Services Unit. Although it has been launched in the 1980’s by the Indonesian Government and has become part of the school curriculum most students in remote villages rarely acquire health services or health information. The main obstacle is the limited transportation available to health providers to reach such villages.
According to Aloysius Riantobi, the Head of Kawela Village, presently there are a good number of health workers in the sub-district health center. However, health services delivered to schools in remote villages is a rare event due to the limited means of transport. “We are very lucky. Since 2003 our students here have accessed health information from the health providers coming from Baniona Health Center who in turn got motorcycles from HfA,” he underlined.
What is said by Riantobi is confirmed by Arkadius Balaweling, the Head of the Elementary School. He acknowledged that his students no longer have difficulty to get health information as health providers from Baniona Health Center regularly provide health services to the students. Thanks to the HfA motorcycles, the health providers dare to climb and reached this highly elevated location.
“Indeed since 1980s government inserted health as a subject into national curriculum of the elementary school. However, due to the lack of health personnel and of means of transport to remote areas, it was not done well. In the absence of health workers it is undertaken by sport teacher instead. As a consequence, health issues are not taught but instead we get sports (physical exercises). It is understood because sport teacher does not know the specifics of health education”, explained Arkadius who has been devoting the past twenty years of his life to this school.
The success of motorcycles for health deliveries in remote villages is also acknowledged by Marianus D. Wuring, a health worker in Baniona Health Center, Adonara, East Flores. He acknowledged that since he rides a HfA motorcycle he regularly visits the schools under his area of coverage and give information about primary health to elementary students.
Aside from giving hygiene and sanitation to the public, Marianus also regularly visits six schools in order to give services and information for around 1,500 students. The services given, among others, are health education and vaccination to the children. “We are able to do all this because we are supported by HfA with motorcycles which enable us to undertake our works well”, said Marianus.
However, Marianus further clarifies, “Surely there are still many schools that do not benefit from health services and information due to the lack of means of transport. This happens because there are still a good number of field health workers having no motorcycles that can be used to reach out remote villages”.
“They are not lucky as I am. I hope they are also supported with vehicles in doing their field work. There are a limited number of motorcycles provided by the government.but these are not well maintained and not sufficiently durable for the difficult mountainous road”, said Marianus before starting his health education class.
By: Mansetus Kalimantan, HfA Field Coordinator
Translation from Indonesian by Willy Balawala
The motorcycles used here are provided and maintained by Motorcycle Outreach via HfA