Puskesmas means public health centre, the centre on Sailus island is the primary healthcare provider for 7000 people living in the western part of the archipelago. The islands are remote and isolated. They can also become inaccessible to smaller boats during the rainy season. It is difficult to find doctors who are willing to live and work there. The health staff consists of nurses and midwives who are natives of the islands and received their basic training in Sulawesi or Sumbawa. The average salary for a midwife is around 500 000 IDR (35USD) per month, so midwives are mainly volunteers.
We visited these islands for the first time last year and on our return were able to deliver all the items the health centre requested. These included a portable ultrasound scanner, fetal doppler heartbeat monitors, clinical blood pressure monitors, expendables like bandages, pharmaceuticals and many more items. A huge thanks goes to our sponsors who made this delivery possible
The health centre staff asked for our further assistance, to equip the nurses and midwives on the outer islands, they need more sphygmomanometers, glucose/uric acid/cholesterol monitoring devices, partus sets, more midwife sets and contraceptives etc & educational posters to educate the community about TB, Malaria and sanitation. The government support is insufficient, so we really need to help.