Ludfina Lelo Ruron, a 7 years old child was resting weakly on an old bed placed in the family room of a 6 x 7 meters house. Lying between 2 pillows, Ludfina was just silent looking at every person who came to see her.
Her eyes were blurred, the muscles of her neck were clearly visible and her ribs could be counted from afar. Any kind of food given was frequently thrown out. Understandably because this daughter of Anton Ruron and Anastasia Wungubelen had suffered from malaria for the last 2 weeks. However, her parents believed that the sickness of their first daughter was due to the “interference of night bird” (disturbance of bad night spirits) which is the belief of the locals. Meanwhile to seek medication in the health center, as proposed by some villagers was difficult to realize due to the expense as her parents are poor farmers.
The Indonesian government provides free medication for poor sectors of society via a special health insurance program but not all poor people qualify for this. Despite being a poor family, Ludfina’s parents do not qualify and had not received the required “card”.
“We are indeed a poor family. However, the allocation of cards for free medication for our village is limited and we are not able to get it. Objectively our family is much poorer than some of those receiving the cards. I have no idea what are the criteria being used to determine a poor family. The fact is we do not have sufficient money to pay for medication or for transport to the sub-district health center or hospital in town”, said Anton.
One day Anton was visited by Mr. Yeremias Mukina (a field health provider) who came by motorcycle offering to bring Ludfina child to the public hospital in Larantuka town, East Flores without cost.
“At first I was doubtful, would it be possible for my child in her weak condition to travel on a motor bike? But the health rider convinced me that I could come along in order to take care of the child. I accepted the offer and we immediately rushed to the hospital. This health worker also arranged my health insurance card so that my child could get medication without charge”, said Anton.
“I was really helped by HfA humanitarian assistance. It’s motorcycles when used by field health providers truly facilitate the villagers who lack access to transportation. I also give my thanks and gratitude to Mr. Yeremias Mukina who ensured that my child could be handled properly in the hospital. Currently Ludfina is still in hospital but her condition is improving. She can smile again and eat well. Hopefully in a few days we leave the hospital. And I also hope HfA can help more people as in remote villages as there are many people like us”, Anton finished story while caressing Ludfina’s hair.
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