The earthquake and tsunami that hit Indonesia on September 28, killed more than 2,000 people and injured 4,000 others. Some 68,000 homes were destroyed or damaged, displacing more than 200,000 people. Humanity & Inclusion is assisting victims of the disaster, in partnership with Ikatan Fisioterapis Indonesia (IFI), a local physical therapy association.
"Two months after the earthquake, the situation is still very difficult for many victims,” says Cheria Noezar, HI operational coordinator in Indonesia. “Thousands of people who have lost their homes are still living in temporary shelters or sleeping in tents. Hundreds of thousands of people are in urgent need of shelter, healthcare, 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.
"Many people with disabilities are not aware of their rights in Palu. Their needs are too often ignored. We meet many people who have serious injuries as a result of the earthquake, but who did not seek help because the people around them did not think helping them was important. Thus, making sure their needs are taken into consideration is one of HI's priorities."
HI organized a training course in conjunction with IFI in Makassar City on November 24 and 25. Sudan Rimal, one of HI’s rehabilitation experts from Nepal, taught ten IFI physical therapists how to provide victims with post-emergency care. Following the training, the physical therapists traveled to ten areas in the regions of Sigi, Palu, and Donggala. They are going to provide rehabilitative care to at least 900 injured people and will teach their patients' families important exercises to perform with them. HI and IFI are also identifying the most vulnerable people in the community and referring them to other organizations that offer education, health care, and other services.