Country of Operation
Target income level
- Bottom 20%
- Primary care
SummaryHealth In Harmony (HIH), a U.S.-based non-profit organization, is supporting Indonesian communities by linking healthcare with rainforest conservation.
Key program components
Alam Sehat Lestari Foundation established ASRI Clinic that serves the local communities that dwell in one of the remotest Indonesian rain forests. ASRI Clinic is strategizing conservation through health care access improvement to protect the threatened rain forests of Gunung Palung National Park. Indonesia, with its extensive tropical rain forests, serves as the lungs of the world. Many indigenous populations reside in this area. However, the isolation of the area has cut them off from accessing public services such as health care.
ASRI Clinic is opened four days a week and is now staffed by 5 doctors, 1 pharmacist, 5 nurses, and 6 administrative and other staff. Services offered at the clinic include, but are not limited to, the following: free birth control for village women, free immunizations for children, general medicine, a comprehensive pharmacy and dental care. The clinic also coordinates a DOTS program (Direct Observed Therapy Short-course) in which village health care workers help to oversee the treatment of tuberculosis patients in their communities.
The clinic employs a unique method of payment which includes the exchange of health services with goods or pay-for-labor. The poor indigenous community can barter their crop seeds, manure or compost with health care services. Patients may also pay medical expenses by working at the clinic. The work will be recorded in the card like savings and can be used as vouchers to get medical treatment. If they work for 8 hours, the patient will be paid 50 thousand rupiahs (5.2 USD) that can be used as a guarantee for medical treatment when needed.
The pay-through-labor program is just one element of this project that is empowering the communities around Gunung Palung to preserve the park, on their terms. Clinic prices keyed to the local economy are helping to break the cycle that pits human needs against nature.
These community-designed health care incentives are making a tangible link between human health and a cessation of logging. To reach the secluded residential area in the forest, Clinic ASRI operates a mobile clinic. This mobile clinic is the result of extensive consultation with the local community. Based on the priorities expressed by local communities, the mobile clinic is equipped with low-cost ambulance service, discounts on medical services at ASRI Clinic, and instruction in organic farming.
ASRI’s mobile clinic visits remote communities around Gunung Palung National Park each month, bringing pharmaceuticals, immunizations, a mobile dental chair, and other services to villages without easy access to the clinic in Sukadana. In the first round of mobile clinic visits, Klinik ASRI staff saw hundreds of patients, diagnosing untreated malaria, tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis and epilepsy. The value of accessible, affordable health care brought to the village "doorstep" was deeply felt.
The United Nations estimates there are 370 million indigenous people living in over 70 countries.
- Alam Sehat Lestari FoundationNot-for-profit
- Health in HarmonyNot-for-profit