The strict routine as an internship doctor does not make Inggrid Asali close her eyes with the spread of COVID-19 that bring casualties even from medical personnel. This condition is worrying, when the stock of personal protective equipment (PPE) used by medical personnel getting scarce on market.
From her search, Inggrid later learned that the scarcity of PPE stockpiles occurred because the goods were sent to other countries in need such as Malaysia and Singapore. However, some are suspected to have been hoarded by collectors who want to make big profits, so the price soared high on the market.
Concerned about the existing conditions, Inggrid family in Ambon City finally took the initiative to send donations in the form of money worth 20 million for buying masks. After receiving the donation, the woman from Maluku rushed to buy several types of masks, then distributed them to her fellow medical personnel for free.
“I offer the masks through WhatsApp group. Who needs them? It turned out that the response was overwhelming. Especially from fellow medical personnel in the area who have difficulty in getting hands on masks. They were forced to wear cloth masks that were washed again. Some even use baby diapers, “said the alumni of SMA Negeri 1 Ambon.
When her masks running low, while the need from medical personnel continued to grow, an idea arose to raise funds. Realizing that she could not move on her own, Inggrid also invited her friends from 2013 Faculty of Medicine (FK) alumni of Universitas Airlangga to participate in the social activities she initiated.
“We decided to act rather than sit still and wait for help. As medical personnel, we know best what the needs of our colleagues in the field, ” said the woman currently undergoing internship at Ibnu Sina Hospital, Gresik.
The efforts of Inggrid and friends were warmly welcomed by various parties. Many eventually sympathize, then send donations, both in the form of money and other medical equipment such as boots, masks, hazmat, and vitamins.
One of Inggrid’s friends supporting the fundraising, Alvin Saputra, said that this activity started on March 18. At that time, there were not many PPE requests coming in. However, over time, the number of medical personnel, health centers, and hospitals that need help is growing.
Alvin said, initially, their work had not been well managed as it is now. Because, the number of fundraising team members was limited. “Because we wanted to formalize this activity, we began to make a donation flow. So, for medical personnel who need PPE, they must contact the hotline that has been provided, then we will proceed, ” he continued.
“Actually, we only intend to distribute donations to colleagues located in East Java. Because if it comes out, it requires shipping costs. Then, we began to be assisted by several cargo services that were willing to provide free delivery, so donations could reach all parts of Indonesia. Finally, we managed to send to Papua, “Alvin explained.
The success of the 2013 FK UNAIR alumni in distributing donations to hundreds of puskesmas and hospitals throughout Indonesia could not be separated from their collaboration with various parties. Starting from the doctors, socialites, to a number of famous brands.
“We began to get big donations after Inggrid contacted several beauty doctors in Surabaya, such as dr. Aji Bayu Chandra, dr. Erwin Sugito, and dr. Nize Liliana. Not only do they help materially, but they also move their clients to donate and help PPE packing every day, “explained Alvin.
He gave an example, there are clients who have a business wedding organizer, shoe factory, cardboard factory, designers, beauty brands, cargo service providers to make-up artists, participating in making donations according to their respective capacities.
“We feel happy as well as relieved because we can help colleagues, but also are concerned when we know that there are individuals who commit stupid actions, such as hoarding PPE, then reselling it at unreasonable prices,” he said.
As a medical worker, Alvin also appealed to the public to continue to comply with health protocols to prevent future casualties. “Meanwhile, for the government, please be firm with the issue before Lebaran and exodus,” he said. (*)
Author: Nabila Amelia
Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia