Annual Report 2007 from Ibu Robin Lim
10.4.2008, Ibu Robin Lim
Bumi Sehat Bali and Aceh Health Projects Field Report 2006 - 2007
Prepared by Ibu Robin Lim
As 2007 grew to a close, we at Bumi Sehat had much to be grateful for. This year Yayasan (foundation) Bumi Sehat (Healthy Mother Earth) was chosen THE #1 not-for-profit organization in Bali, OUT of over 700. The selection process was rigorous and all aspects of our projects, from patient care, to computer courses for youth, to recycling were analyzed, our administration was checked and rechecked to see if our licenses are complete and current, our financial books were reviewed and we were found to be corruption free. I must admit to being very, very proud of our staff both in Aceh and in Bali. Also, I feel full of gratitude for the donors, who make every aspect of our work possible.
The close of the year was not without sadness: Christmas week we lost four babies in our Bali Safe Motherhood/Infant Survival practice. Three of the four mothers had never attended prenatal care, for lack of transportation or just plain not knowing that Bumi Sehat existed, until the day they were in labor. Thus they did not have the benefit of our risk reduction model of care, and free prenatal vitamins. One baby was premature; she survived only 24 hours. Two other babies were born with health issues which made it necessary for them to go into hospital for neonatal care - they did not make it. Our last infant death of the year was a lovely anecephalic child. We knew something was not right in the last weeks of Ketut's pregnancy, and accompanied the family to an ultrasound check with our back-up OBGYN. The mother and father had accepted that their child had a profound birth defect, and would not survive long outside of the womb. It was a beautiful and heart opening birth. Baby Kadek lived 4 days, she died in her parent's arms, feeling their love. At her birth we sang the Gyatri mantra, at her death her family also sang this same healing song to the soul. Anecephaly is a neural tube defect, most often caused by malnutrition. All our lost babies were casualties of poor prenatal diet, hunger, due to poverty.
In Aceh our maternal and child health staff faces the fact that so many of the expectant mothers suffer from high blood pressure, increasing the risk of pregnancy many fold.
An overview of patient statistics for Bumi Sehat 2006 and 2007 are as follows:
Aceh total patients seen; 21,523 this includes 978 emergencies or accidents requiring transport with our beautiful ambulance… thank you NYC Rotary for the emergency transport vehicle!
Our Bali health center saw 6,307 patients in 2006 and 8,350 patients in 2007. Number of babies delivered at the Bumi Bali Birth Center jumped from 364 in 2006 to 521 in 2007. Seems like yesterday 40 births in a month was busy, now we are receiving well over 60 babies per month. One rainy night we moved beds from our staff ashram to the office, to accommodate the birthing moms and babies. Imagine our administration staff's delight when they arrived in the morning to find 11 mothers nursing their healthy newborn babies. We have only 7 beds at Bumi Bali, but we have not turned mothers away There is always 'room at the Bumi inn.'
The Bumi Youth Center in Bali instructed 120 young people in English language and computer skills in 2006. IN 2007, 193 students benefited from our free courses.
The South Asia and Ubud Rotary clubs have completed construction on the new Bumi Sehat clinic in Samatiga, Aceh, and donated it to us fully furnished in October. Operating funds have been provided by Direct Relief International, BBC, Zimmerman Foundation, Body Shop, Alexander Langer Foundation, plus friends of Bumi Sehat all over the world, Paula B., Leon and family… special thanks. The Sakthi Foundation has made it possible for us to have a 501C umbrella organization in the U.S., thanks to Pradheep, his family and to Bruce, aka "Bumi Angel."
Our wonderful breastfeeding book "ASI Esklusif Dong" was published, 10,000 copies PAID FOR by Direct Aid Programs of the Australian Consulate. This book on in Bahasa Indonesia will save lives. Good going Liz for writing the grant application.
I cannot thank our volunteers from all over the world enough. David and Asri of Ubud Rotary… heaven knows you worked so hard. Melanie, back in England now is so missed. Frank, Irene, Nita, Eka, Sandi, Raka making up the financial team. Liz and Jane, fundraising support, Katherine for asking New Chapter to give us Perfect Prenatal vitamins for all of our pregnant women… and so much more. The international midwives and doulas one and all, who have come to us with helping hands and open hearts, thank you. Bless you Dr. Bobbi for running the Acupuncture program, Dr. Frank and your team for coming to Aceh and coming back to do service in Bali, Dr. Soma for anchoring the pediatric outreach. Endang, Nancy, Mimi, Ibu Gandri, for translation support, Ida for coordinating our volunteers. Dr. Wayan in Bali, and Dr. Eman in Aceh for keeping your hearts and minds open to Healing ways of medicine. Special thanks to our brave midwifery and nursing team, Budi, Agung, Ketut, Kadek Dwi, Ayu, Mega, Feda and Christina, Leman, JoLinda, BangKit, holding hands with the traditional midwives, Ibu Bulan, Ibu Satria, and Mah Tih. Media support came from Lakota, Zion, Gede Robi, and songs from Michael Franti, and Oppie Andaresta. Every minute of help and support, is a healing. Our aim is to relieve suffering. With the Babies, our prayer is that each soul trusting the Bumi Sehat midwives to receive them into the world, will arrive with an intact ability to love. By preventing birth trauma, by loving and supporting the moms through a gentle and safer birth, in a land where hemorrhage after childbirth is one of the leading causes of death… we hope to keep the babies' hearts open and connected to their minds, resulting in optimum health. We believe that gentle birth can heal the Mother Earth, one baby at a time.
The future… Bumi Sehat Aceh has the infrastructure it needs to give excellent medical relief to the Tsunami survivors. Bumi Sehat Bali, our home office, is busier than ever, but does not have a permanent facility. In approximately five years, the lease on the land the clinic sits upon is finished. At this time the clinic is just too small to accommodate the numbers of patients, yet our policy is to turn no one away. So, clearly it is time to move and create a true home for Bumi Sehat Bali. Friends of Bumi have already donated money towards our security, yet we must raise a significant amount to buy the land needed and build the new clinic, staff housing, handicapped children's and youth centers, vegetable gardens, plus parking. In March, friends of Bumi have a fantastic musical fundraiser planned… we will keep you updated on that. Meanwhile, the need for an ambulance is clear. Currently, we use our one and only clinic vehicle for emergency transport, plus to run day-to-day errands. There is no other emergency transport available for the poor in the Ubud area. We are happy to be providing this service, honestly we sometimes borrow cars from friends to keep it going. We need a motorbike for running nearby errands. Currently we have driven one of our most loyal staff members, Sandi's, bike into the ground. Month-to-month operational expenses in Bali are provided by your generous donations from afar and also by walk-in friends from all over the planet. But there is always the worry that we won't make our bill payments. Faith and grace carry us along with your help.
The on-going donations of vitamins, baby blankets, hats and clothing are just amazing… thank you. Those of you who have met us at the Bali clinic, walked in and seen us at work, have been so generous, we are humbled. John Fawcette Foundation helps with medical supplies, which we just could not survive without. It is truly a Global Community effort here. I find myself in tears as I write this, tears of gratitude.
There is much talk of Global warming, and indeed, it is of great concern. In these times on Earth it is easy to be pessimistic about the future…. Our first Bumi Baby of the New Year 2008 came into the world breech, which leads us to believe; "Things are turning around." May it be so. Thank you for forging a partnership in this peace we so wish to create.
Om Shanti, Assalamualaikum, Om Shanti, Blessings of Peace, Happy New Year…
And Love, always Love, Ibu Robin Lim