Outside the main islands of Indonesia, the inhabitants of smaller islands suffer from a poorly developed infrastructure. For example, there is a lack of comprehensive medical care. Many families cannot afford traveling the sometimes long distances to the nearest hospital. During our missions, we repeatedly come across many older cleft children who have not yet been treated.
In recent years, our operations have focused on the province of Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT), part of the Little Sunda Islands in eastern Indonesia. Compared to other areas in Indonesia, the number of children born with cleft lip and palate is strikingly higher there. The target regions have so far been the islands of Flores and Timor with missions in Wolowaru, Labuan Bajo, Ende (Flores) and Atambua, Kupang and Kefa (Timor). At the beginning of this year, the first assignment took place in Serang, the capital of the West Javanese province of Banten.
The RSUD Dr Saiful Anwar Hospital has been a partner of Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe in Indonesia since 2014 and is represented by Prof. Bambang Pardjianto. Malang is a major city on the Indonesian main island of Java. The Malang hospital is very renowned and has an excellent department for the treatment of cleft patients.
Project manager on part of Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe is Dr. Ulrike Lamle. She is the medical contact for Prof. Pardijanto and has accompanied him during his operations. Ulrike Lamlé lived in Java for several years and speaks Indonesian.
We want to continue to help cleft children in the many remote island regions of Indonesia in the future. We need your support so that we can continue our work.
Despite the overall positive development in recent years, the imbalance between rich and poor in Indonesia is large. There are clear regional differences. While the main island of Java, as Indonesia’s political and economic center, is well developed, other islands have been neglected. The children are particularly hard hit. Many children cannot go to school. This is because the parents lack the financial means to pay for school uniform and material. Or because the nearest school is miles away from the home village and is therefore out of reach of the children.
Due to its geology, the island nation is frequently plagued by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.