TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Many disaster reliefs, either foreign or domestic, are currently making their way to Palu in Central Sulawesi, which mostly takes form in humanitarian aid from government agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGO).
To help assist these relief efforts, Indonesia’s Health Ministry through its Director General of Disease Prevention and Control Anung Sugihantono shared three crucial elements that need to be considered by teams and individuals that are tasked in disaster-stricken Central Sulawesi.
1. Malaria-endemic region
“Firstly, we must understand that it is a region endemic to malaria. Consume malaria medications such as malaria prophylaxis even though not every area in Central Sulawesi is endemic to malaria,” said Anung on October 5.
He explained that Palu, Donggala, and Parigi Moutong are low malaria-endemic areas but the people are asked to still be cautious since a change of ecosystem there after a disaster can affect vectors. Volunteers that could be disease carriers from other regions should also take notice.
2. Personal Protective Equipment
Anung urged volunteers and rescue efforts in Palu, Donggala, and other affected areas to maximize their protection through the use of rubber boots, rubber gloves, face masks such as medical masks, and eye protection. “This must be noted since it can act as an entry point for diseases we would face there,” he said.
3. Hygiene and Sanitation
Anung reminded volunteers to take into consideration the sanitation level at disaster-stricken areas such as Palu and its vicinity that are still far from the standard. He urges people to make sure that they can handle such situation either by bringing their own clean water supply or other elements that help preserve one’s self-hygiene.