The earthquake and tsunami that hit Indonesia on 28th September killed more than 2,000 people and injured 4,000 others. Some 68,000 homes were destroyed or damaged, and more than 200,000 people were displaced. HI is now assisting victims of the disaster, in partnership with the organization Ikatan Fisioterapis Indonesia (IFI).
200,000 people still in need of assistance
"Two months after the earthquake, the situation is still very difficult for many victims of the disaster," says Cheria Noezar, HI operational coordinator in Indonesia.
"Thousands of people who have lost their homes are still living in temporary shelters, made from tarpaulin, or sleeping under tents. Some 200,000 people are in urgent need of shelter, healthcare and rehabilitation, and sanitation facilities."
"Many amputees and people who have spinal cord or head injuries have not yet received appropriate treatment. HI's priority is to provide rehabilitation care to victims in order to avoid the onset of long-term disabilities."
Emergency rehabilitation care
HI organized a training course, in conjunction with IFI, in Makassar City on 24th and 25th November. Sudan Rimal, one of HI’s rehabilitation experts in Nepal, taught ten IFI physical therapists to provide victims with post-emergency care, including how to massage a stump and assist casualties with trauma.
Following the training, the physical therapists traveled to ten areas of the region of Sigi, Palu and Donggala. They are going to provide rehabilitation care to at least 900 injured people and will teach their families essential exercises to perform with patients.
Ensuring the most vulnerable receive support
HI and IFI also identify the most vulnerable people in their homes and refer them to other organizations to benefit from education, health care, and other services.
"Many people with disabilities in Palu are not aware of their rights. Their needs are too often ignored and not sufficiently taken into account. We meet many people who have serious injuries (fractures, etc.) sustained during the earthquake, but who did not seek help because it was not considered a priority by the people around them. Making sure their needs are taken into consideration is one of HI's priorities," adds Cheria Noezar.