Nurmalasari, Alumnus Serves in Mentawai

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Nurmalasari S.KM., with the locals (Photo: Special)

UNAIR NEWS – From many fresh ideas conveyed in papers, but with no implementations, Nurmalasari S. KM., wanted to serve. Her knowledge was used well to contribute in Pencerah Nusantara program. Mala, her nickname, was willing to postponed her graduation and served in Sikakap sub-district, Mentawai Isles for one whole year.

During her community service, the alumnus of Bidikmisi program 2010 served with five others on health. They were a doctor, a nurse, a midwife and a nutritionist. In her team, Mala volunteered to be the team leader, someone who will map the working system during a year service.


During the service, at first she had difficulty to determine what can she do for her contribution to community. She had difficulties to applied what she had learned at college. But after a month, through many approaches, she got a clue to apply her skill.

“There’s a turning point on things they did not master (non-SKM, ed) but it was our field. Epidemiology, health statistics, data management and health infos, assessment. SKM is better on those things,” said the woman born in Lumajang, May 1 1992.

Mala had found a way to apply her knowledge. But after two months of assessment and interference. She faced another problem when she had to faced the health  program management in the local health center (puskesmas).

“I was considered a freshman who did not know anything. SO while learning, I join all of their programs,” said Mala.

Once, there was a problem in the puskesmas they could not handle anymore, Mala came and proposed ideas in a way which still respected the health center officials. Idea suggested by Mala brought positive reviews for the health center staff. At first, Mala was trusted to something which was considered impossible at that time.


“At first, the government didn’t believe me, I was considered as a freshman. But after I showed them proofs of my achievements, they then believed me. Finally they believed with my presentation, and they agreed to give more funds for healthcare in Mentawai,” she added.

After a few months in service, Mala slowly saw the change on the locals, especially on their awareness to the importance of maintain health together.

They then realized that health is not only the government’s responsibility. They worked together to deal with the problems on healthcare found there.

The benchmark used to measure Mala and friends’ program success was the level of the locals’ participation in the program. Their participation was increasing even for formulating health program.

Slowly, Mala felt the positive changes. There was a boy of Mentawai which was named as the ambassador of national children. He was then trusted by Pencerah Nusantara to encourage other kids to promote improvements in any aspects. Various activities by kids and teenagers were held regularly in Mentawai Isles such as free smoking villages, reef preserve and the establishment of Sahabat Remaja Mentawai.

Her efforts to promote healthy lifestyle and environment preservation which came into fruition brought personal satisfaction for her. From Pencerah Nusantara program, she learned an important lesson on public health bachelor existence.

“A bachelor of public health should be close with the people. If he wants to change the people behavior, he has to be close with them first and made them trusted him. Most importantly, do not ever feel we are better than them intellectually,” said Mala.

At the moment, Mala works in the main office of Pencerah Nusantara in Jakarta and in the programming team. Every day she conducts research and development, also analyze the findings acquired by Pencerah Nusantara field staff.

Her motto is”Talking about health is not about you and me, but all of us have responsibilities.” (*)

Author: Binti Q. Masruroh
Editor: Nuri Hermawan

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