West Sulawesi earthquake relief, UNAIR sends AJU I Team and Floating Hospital (RSTKA)

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Ksatria Airlangga Floating Hospital (RSTKA) anchored in a remote Indonesian island. (Photo: Public Relations UNAIR)
Ksatria Airlangga Floating Hospital (RSTKA) anchored in a remote Indonesian island. (Photo: Public Relations UNAIR)

UNAIR NEWS – Two big earthquakes hit Mamuju and Majene areas, West Sulawesi, for two consecutive days. The first earthquake occurred on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 14.45 Central Indonesian Time (WITA) with a magnitude 5.9 in Richter scale. Next, an earthquake with an even greater magnitude occurred the next day, on Friday January 15, 2021, in the morning at 02.28 WITA.

As a response to this disaster, Universitas Airlangga has sent AJU I Team to the Ksatria Airlangga Floating Hospital to help with the impact of the earthquake, especially related to the addition of medical personnel. Contacted by UNAIR NEWS on Saturday afternoon, January 16, 2021, Secretary of Ksatria Medica Airlangga Foundation (YKMA / managing foundation) Dr. Suwaspodo Henry Wibowo, Sp.And., MARS said the AJU I Team led by the Director of RSTKA dr. Agus Hariyanto, SpB., has sent approximately 18 medical personnel. They consist of 2 pharmacists, 2 surgeons, 2 anesthetists, 4 general practitioners, 4 general nurses, 2 anesthetist nurses, and 2 surgical nurses.

The AJU I team also collaborated with the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI) East Java and Surabaya. They were asked to replace the function of the hospital in the disaster area which was no longer operational.

The RSTKA ship departed from Surabaya early this morning, January 17, 2021 and has waited for the tide to subside. It will take three days to get to Makassar.

“Looking at the emergency situation, the team must go there immediately. We coordinate with the Ministry of Health’s Disaster Team. Our ship is asked to be there. Many hospitals there are not operational,” said dr. Henry.

Pioneering team

Moreover, the unknown field conditions, the AJU I Team will become the medical pioneers to open the way to the location. According to dr. Henry, the team is also in charge of surveying the disaster location and collecting what is missing in the field. Next, the AJU I Team coordinated with Dr. Soetomo and UNAIR Hospital.

“The AJU I team will survey the conditions of the field, information on docking site, and what they need on site,” he said.

The AJU 1 team prepared medical, logistical and other assistance needed for two weeks. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, teams are working with field hospitals to examine the treatment first.

Then, the team brought safety equipment for more than a thousand SWAB antigen checks, Hazmat Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), laboratory equipment, N95 masks, and hand sanitizer, including carrying five 4 x 8 m tents to separate safe patients and as a place for the team to rest. In addition, the team brought logistical assistance for the children such as food, clothing and books.

Will involve students

“Of course, we hope to get the support and assistance of all parties, including faculties at UNAIR. We need students, especially fisheries and community health students as trauma healing for coastal communities, “he hoped.

The presence of students, said dr. Henry, is needed. The education of coastal children there should not be stopped.

“It is still difficult for the ship and our team to set sail and it is still in the full-blown pandemic. We’ll keep trying to get there safely. We ask for support, prayers, and participation in any form for our brothers there, thank you, “concluded dr. Henry. (*)

Author: Dimar Herfano

Editor: Feri Fenoria

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