Monthly Archives: November 2009

Team 8 – Final Report 3 of 3 PDF Print E-mail
Written by admin
Saturday, 28 November 2009
hj hani n dr mar

19th NOVEMBER 2009

It is Thursday, and soon our mission would be complete. My patient from the other day did not make an appearance last night, although we waited. Perhaps the idea of having to travel to seek medical help did not appeal to the parents I presume. However, it was a total shame as his left distal thigh abscess was quite big and without a proper incision and drainage it would spread to his need joint and he is at risk of developing septic arthritis which in the long run without proper treatment may lead to injury to the knee joint and impair mobility. I’ve already explained to the parents concerning the consequences of no surgery. The least I did was give him antibiotics, which pray to God, he has the decency to take. Being trained in pediatrics for many years has made me extremely sensitive to child health issues. I feel that this is also a failure on my part.

I got up a bit later than usual, perhaps close to 8 am. Haji Hani was out handling some cattle issues for the upcoming Aidil Adha celebrations. Breakfast was fried rice courtesy of Norhayati, my only female nurse and company.

This morning we set out to see the progress on our home building projects. We were taken on a few sights near Sungai Sarik that was our next clinic destination of the day. These homes were a bit different from the temporary homes that we saw before because it still uses the old housing frame, and recycled rubble added to rebuilt the collapsed home. There were certain criterias to fulfill before a home is built for the victims, which includes the victims’ capability of income, presence of little children and elderly people.

After the short visit, we headed to Limpato, Sungai Sarik for the next mobile clinic. On the way there, Pak Yah told us that yesterdays drama was actually more than it seems. Apparently, it was not a matter of road rage, but rather crime of passion. The man beaten up was upset because the guy who beat him up ran off with his ex-wife and this was part of a revenge plot. They were actually having a chasing tail gating scene prior to banging into each other and fighting with each other and landing on our doorstep that night. I guess life in Padang could be interesting at times.

 

Limpato was a nice village which was related to one of the DDI ustaz, whom I’ve seen a couple of times visiting our home stay in Pariaman. We set camp in front of a school under an open stall. Luckily, there was a nice breeze blowing through which made the hot morning sun bearable. The response from the locals was surprisingly good, although initially the clinic ran slow. We saw 110 patients that day in a span of 4 hours. Haji and me even went to an extent of doing an incision and drainage for a boy with a right thigh abscess, this time smaller than the one previous. After a positive pus aspiration via syringe, I made a small X cut on top of the fluctuating area to remove the pus. We removed almost 5 cc of pus from the abscess, but what I was more astounded was the fact the boy could stand the procedure with only ethylene chloride spray given prior. He didn’t even cry, he only admitted to pain – and he was not even a teenager yet. Thumbs up kid! We washed and dressed the wound and I wrote a letter for the parents to bring to any nearby facility for dressing daily. I covered him with antibiotics and some panadol and he was on his way. Another observation that we made was that the people there were very patient and orderly, not like our previous clinics. They even helped us carry our boxes prior to the clinic and as the clinic ended.

We finished at about 3pm, exhausted and hungry. Lunch was again nasi padang, but this time the shop had more meat in it. I opt for simple plain rice and rempah fried chicken because I wasn’t feeling to good. The rest had the fried rice that we packed from this morning with some of the dishes sold. Buffalo stew was actually quite nice as we tried a plate to eat. After lunch, we went back to the ‘telekung’ factory we visited earlier to buy some more and then headed home. It was still early when we reached home and so we decided to take a look around the area. We went to a nearby stall selling ‘Bika’, which was something like our version of ‘Apam’ except for the coconut was blended into the dough. They used a special leaf found by the beach as the placemat that gives a very special aroma that adds to taste. It was quite sweet. We also went to visit a nearby telekung factory in front of the house, but we found that the designs and price were not up to our liking.

That night, we were pretty exhausted from the long day. It was Friday night, so we had our prayers and Yaasin reading. Dinner was chicken soup and mix vegetables with omelet. We were pretty exhausted after all the cleaning and rearranging drugs, and that night we slept early because the next day we need to get up early for our next clinic which was situated quite far from where we were.

20th November 2009

We got up early since we were to set out before 7am. Breakfast was simple bread and jam, some coffee and we were good to go. The journey was a long one. We stopped to fill up for gas on the way. It took us almost 2 hours to reach the last clinic spot which was near Maninjau Lake called Sigiran. Surrounded with natures finest greenery, we were awestrucked at the sight of the huge lake situated amidst the mountains. It looked like we were by the seaside, except for our brains telling us we went uphill. On the other side, there were remains of a landslide which made the road all too narrower.

We arrived at Sigiran mosque at half past nine. I was feeling a bit queezy. Motion sickness perhaps, more like morning sickness. We set camp outside the mosque. Time was limited due to Friday prayer’s but we managed to see 104 patients altogether. One boy had persistent rhinorrhoea with foul smelling discharge. I took a look and it appeared that he had put something up his nose. Thanking God for my 6 months ENT training before resigning, I found a curved forceps and managed to remove the foreign body with ease. It was all green and smelly. There was a bit of blood afterwards, and he cried mainly because of the blood I think.

My head was hurting and luckily the clinic was closed early for the Friday prayers. The men went on with prayers while Norhayati and me dispensed the remaining medications and then packed up all our stuff. After prayers, we said goodbye to the people of Sigiran and had lunch on the other side of the lake. Menu as usual, nasi padang. It was still quite early when we finished lunch. Since Bukit Tinggi was another half an hour drive, we decided to check out the place, just to see why people were really excited about it. The journey up was breath taking and altogether there was 44 bends to reach the top. It was quite cool, comparable to our Cameron Highlands I would say. The Bazaar was mayhem and it was interesting to see the different type of stalls. Mostly sold praying clothes, embroided clothes and bags. After a few hours we headed home. We reached Pariaman at around 9pm. Dinner was Pariaman Fried Chicken bought prior to reaching home. We packed our things for the journey home tomorrow.
21st November 2009

Dawn arrived and most of us woke up a bit later than we normally did. I wasn’t feeling so well, the Fried Chicken had caused me to purge all morning. My staff nurses helped clean up the house before we got into the car for our journey home. Of the many days staying in Pariaman, we finally understood what ‘Gempa Sumbar’ meant – we thought it meant earth quake, but actually ‘Sumbar’ was an acronym for West Sumatera (Sumatera Barat).

We reached the airport early at around 12 pm. Pak Yas cried as we said our goodbyes. Apparently in our short stay, he grew fond of our small team.

Whilst waiting in the airport, we met another group of volunteers from University Malaysia Kelantan. It was the first time they were there to offer humanitarian help. The dean wanted his students to be exposed to humanitarian work besides just studying for a certificate. He is also sending a bigger group to Cambodia for the coming Aidil Adha.

We got on the plane and I guess everybody gave a sigh of relief. One week away from our beloved home town makes the journey home the most anticipated part. The flight was a bit bumpy but the takeoff and landing was super smooth.

It was a wonderful experience, the journey, the people, the new surroundings and the new friends we made. Watching other people’s home being struck by natural disaster makes us feel so blessed that it did not happen to our homes instead. Despite the help given, it wasn’t really much but perhaps it was enough to remind them that there are people who care about them in the world. As for my team, I couldn’t have asked for a better one. Definitely I need to say thank you so much for their cooperation and dedication. I couldn’t have done this mission well without all of you. A special thanks to Haji Hani also for his guidance and patience with us.

 

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Debate: Should US Civilian Aid and Military Operations be Conducted Together or Separately?

The US military is perhaps the greatest logistical operation in history and the best suited for transport and supply drops in out of the way places. And in countries where the US is not involved in political security or violence, it may be well suited also to provide medical and civil assistance as well. But during war time, should the US military provide aid alongside international and local civilian nonprofits at the same time and among the same communities in which it is conducting combat operations?

The question is important now because the US Agency for International Development, one of the largest planners of civil-military operations, may have new leadership in the nominee for Administrator, Dr. Rajiv Shah. Many supporters of the Obama and Clinton candidacies for President believed that the Bush Administration had not only gone to war for the wrong reasons but then conducted those wars poorly. Many remain hopeful that some of the more contraversial changes in how aid was delivered might be revised.

Questions about civil-military action during wartime heated up in 2002 when the US began these efforts in Afghanistan, relying largely on Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) which were military units working alongside state department employees to meet with nonprofits on the ground and distribute a variety of projects meant to help local communities recover while making the US military look more friendly. For example, I got a chance to see a tremendously successful PRT project restoring rice paddies in Kunduz…

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MRA Group 8 Progress Report – Part 2




 

dr mar2

17 NOVEMBER 2009

It was only Tuesday, but we felt that we have been here for quite awhile. We were getting use to the time difference especially the different praying times. We had sardine sandwiches for breakfast, and I had my dose of instant Cappuccino to start the day. By 8am, we were all good and ready to go, but Haji Hani decided to stay home since he was still feeling a bit under the weather. It was quite a surprise since I doubt before this he ever stood up any program. Given the task to lead the team, we headed out to our next destination – Tangah Sukur. On the way, we stopped by a wholesale dealer shop which actually belonged to Pak Yas’s (our driver) brother. We stocked on mineral water and I found a whole pack of instant cappuccino and mini chocolate tiger biscuits to add to our supply.

 

Tangah Sukur was a nearby village which took around half an hour to reach from our residence. We were placed in front of the mosque on a nice patio of an abandoned home damaged during the earth quake. The people of Tangah Sukur were very friendly and we treated 83 patients altogether with main complaints of hypertension and fungal infections. In view that we had just one big bottle of albendazole syrup, we decided to have a small worm campaign where the kids are given the dose of albendazole on the spot. After a lot of laughs, we took pictures with the locals. Most of the locals were pretty familiar with Malaysia, having relatives here. They even have interesting pets, and one of them actually showed her baby foxes. It was common for the locals to adopt these foxes as they can be domesticated and used to find good coffee beans. Yes, these were the foxes that eat the good coffee fruit and the locals gather the beans from their droppings. It is said that these beans produce the best coffee in the world, but despite being an avid coffee addict, I guess I was more grossed out with the thought of the beans extracted from fox droppings. Eww…

Lunch was again Nasi Padang situated by the beach. Despite the lovely scenery, all of us were quite fed up of the same type of dishes everyday. Azmee refused to eat except for some fish fritters that looked like ‘tempeyek’. Shahril, on the other hand, was craving for some tom yam. It was time to make a few changes; I don’t think I can survive eating the same menu day in, day out. Before we reached home, I told Pak Yas that we needed to go shopping. We headed for Pariaman market where we bought chicken, fish, prawns and squid. We tried looking for things like Tom Yam paste or curry powder, or even tumeric powder but apparently it was non-existent. We were forced to make do with whatever that was there but to me, this is where the fun is, creating food from basics. We then headed to the nearby pharmacy to stock on eye drops and LMS cream. When we reached home, Haji Hani was already feeling better. He then decided to take us to a nice place that made praying clothes for women. (Personal Note : For those coming – this is a must go place).

That night, we decided to cook for a change. We surprised Haji Hani by whipping up seafood tom yam and Fried Sambal Chilli Kerisi with omelette. Now at least the food feels more like home.

18 NOVEMBER 2009

It was our 5th day in Padang, and today we made nasi lemak for breakfast. Haji Hani was so happy, he grinned from ear to ear to get Malaysian nasi lemak for breakfast. We even packed some for lunch. We were scheduled to go to Sikabu at Lubuk Akap. The journey was a short one, less than half an hour.

We set camp in front of a fertilizer store situated at the main junction of the village. The villagers were excited to see us and many came despite the earlier rain. Altogether we treated 151 patients (actually a bit more but some of our papers went missing and some didn’t register). The main problem was symptomatic anaemia which I presumed mainly due to worm infestation since most of the people there were farmers and they walked around barefoot most of the time. It was like election come early and we were overwhelmed by the crowd. There was one boy who had a right lower thigh abscess. We advised him to go to the hospital but he refused. Finally, the father agreed to take him to our residence for an I&D. Towards the end, there was one patient who required a home visit.

I went with Haji Hani and Pak Yus to the old man’s house. The house was partly damaged from the earthquake. The wife was very happy that we came; previously she was one of our patients. She wanted to know what was wrong with her husband. Clinical examination revealed an old man with complete right hemiplegia and hypereflexia, with lower cranial nerves dysfunction. His blood pressure was 220/110 mmHg. There was no murmur heard. We advised the family to take him to a hospital for a better evaluation as we believe he may have suffered a stroke over the left side, but the family was more worried about who to care for him in the hospital as all the children were working outside of Padang, and the wife is too old. I left them with advice on stroke care at home and the wife gave us 3 durians to bring home.

We stopped by lunch at a nearby Nasi Padang stall. Nasi lemak and avocado juice does blend well apparently. After lunch, we made a quick stop to a mattress wholeseller and then went to look for some fabric with nice embroideries. I guess Pak Yas misunderstood what we wanted because he brought us to a shop selling wedding clothes. It was okay though, at least we had a nice look at the traditional clothes and items used for a wedding ceremony. The wedding ceremonies held here are very colourful with yellow and red being a must. The groom would normally be seen paraded by the roadside towards the bride’s house. It would be interesting to actually attend one.

We went home exhausted and most of us slept. I got up to wait for the boy with the right thigh abscess to come. While waiting, there was a loud commotion outside. A man was brought in to our residence with sustained superficial lacerations from his head actively bleeding. Initially we thought that he was a motorcyclist being hit by a car. But after further questioning, it turns out the car only sustained minor damages, but the drivers ended up fighting each other. The assailant hit the victim with some metal object which appeared to be blunt, as the lacerations were not as deep. There were 3 superficial lacerations altogether ranging from 0.5 cm to 2 cm. Unfortunately, we did not have any ATT to jab him in case of tetanus, nor did we have any sutures left to stitch up the lacerations. Luckily, the bleeding stopped as we were rinsing the wound so it was suffice to just cover it. I still wish we had some sutures. Despite the wounds would definitely heal, but I felt like we could have done a better job. We covered him with antibiotics, gave him some pain killers and advised daily dressing at any nearby health facility. The assailant sustained minor cuts and bruises. Did I mention there was a crowd and the police was there too? It felt like a scene from a drama.

Afterwards, we packed our things and ate magi mee for dinner.

To be continued………

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Team Mission 6 INSAF teruskan kerja di Padang Pariaman

On 11/19/09, InsafRelief <InsafRelief@gmail.com> wrote:

‘Team Mission 6’ yang diketuai Puan Dini Hariah dari ‘Psychologist’ Hospital Banting dan Kaunselor, sdr Shamsul Ariffin Elias dari Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur telah meneruskan program Misi 5 bersama DINAS (Jab. Pendidikan) di Padang Pariaman.
Misi ini yang akan berakhir pada 24hb November akan mempastikan semua program yang telah disusun dan dirancang bersama pihak DINAS ditutup dengan sempurna mengikut kaedah tatacara saikologi.
Disamping itu dengan hampirnya Hari Raya Qurban pada Jumaat depan, INSAF Malaysia dengan kerjasama Yayasan Prihatin Titiwangsa serta individu-individu akan menyumbang 4 ekor lembu dan 4 ekor kambing yang akan diagih-agihkan kepada mangsa-mangsa gempa disana.

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MRA 8th Group Progress Report

14TH NOVEMBER 2009

We were assembled at LCCT airport at around 12.30pm. Checking-in and money changing were swift as we sat in Marry Brown receiving our briefing from Ms. Diyana and soon after Mr Shahran came by for final instructions of our mission. It was the last call for our flight as we made our way through the boarding. There was a sense of uncertainty and excitement as we sat in our seats. It was a smooth take off, the pilot was excellent. The flight to Padang was a quick one, but the view from the sky was breath-taking. Landing was superb also, swift and graceful.

Our arrival at the airport was greeted warmly by Haji Hani and Pak Yus. We made a quick pit stop to Padang town to buy some medicinal supplies. The environment was so different from the usual metropolitan KL scene that I was use to. What caught my eye was house simple the pharmacies appeared, somewhat equivalent to our traditional herb stalls in KL? After buying the supplies, we had our first taste of Nasi Padang at a nice restaurant called Lamun Ombak. It was a nice change from our normal diet at home.

We arrived at the MRA secretariat located in Jati, Pariaman. It was a single storey bungalow already rented for a year under MRA. I would say it was quite neat with all the facilities. After a short briefing, we decided to do the first most important thing – rearrange our medicine stock and prepare our boxes.

15 NOVEMBER 2009

The one hour time difference messed up our clocks but luckily since Malaysia is earlier by one hour, we were actually overly punctual. Breakfast was simple bread and jam from bread bought earlier in Padang when we landed. The journey to our clinic site was a long one. It was situated in the region of Agam, north of Pariaman called South Melalak – a small village called Talago. Talago suffered a great impact during the earth quake where 7 houses were buried under heaps of land. A lot of houses were damaged and few died.

We arrived around 9.30 am and set camp at the Talago Mosque. Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia led by Uztaz Jamal was there too and they gave the ‘tazkirah’ for the people. Our clinic was a success despite the heavy downpour and the mini flood that occurred at our impromptu pharmacy. We treated 60 patients altogether with the main complaints of rheumatism and back pain. Before leaving, we scoured the small settlement to take a look at the remains of the landslide that occurred during the earth quake. Lunch was again Nasi Padang, at a nice small restaurant above a pond. On our way back, we dropped by to see the house that MRA built to help the people. Afterwards, we stopped by the market to stock on supplies. Dinner was simple fried rice courtesy of Azmee.

16 NOVEMBER 2009

It was only the 3rd day, yet everyone agreed that we were quite fed up of Nasi Padang. I whipped up some fried beehoon for breakfast from the items we brought from the market the day before. Today, we visited Sungai Rambai where we were greeted by the head of the village. We were given the community hall to be used as our clinic. It was a really hot day and there wasn’t any good ventilation in the hall. Luckily the toilet was quite decent. The clinic started at about 10 am and we found ourselves soon surrounded by locals of many ages. We saw 95 patients altogether, but ironically the main complaint was hypertension. Haji Hani wasn’t feeling so well, and I being surrounded in a small, stuffy area started to have a massive headache tending to patients that had difficulty understanding what I was trying to say. Luckily, we stopped the registrations, and Haji seeing me struggling to cope with the load came to help. I got up from my seat, feeling very woozy and giddy, sweating away in the hot stuffy room with traces of tobacco smell from the smoking male patients. I dashed to the toilet where I threw up, instantly feeling a lot better. I washed my face and quickly resumed my duties. My team was worried because I looked so pale. Luckily, we managed to finish around 2 pm. Lunch was Nasi Padang again, but the nice change that it was by the seaside, and I welcomed the reassuring breeze. We got home and I rested most the afternoon away. Haji Hani himself was unwell and I prescribed him some medication and antibiotics.

That night, we went to a nearby pharmacy to stock up on LMS and eye drops. We stopped by a mini market where I found some instant Cappuccino. Dinner was bakso from a nearby stall. With coffee in my system, my headache started to clear and I was more energetic than ever. It was caffeine withdrawal syndrome after all. Well at least I found a cure early. That night we had an unexpected guest. A man fell off his motorcycle after hitting a hole on the dark road. He sustained abrasions over the right side of his face, arm and knee. We dressed him and gave him some medications and sent him on his way.

To be continued tomorrow……

 

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Uzbekistan: Free Human Rights Defender

Growing Persecution of Farmers’ Rights Activists

The human rights situation is clearly not going to improve as long as the Uzbek authorities continue to put human rights defenders and activists behind bars. The EU’s decision to lift the already symbolic arms embargo while at least 14 human rights defenders remain in prison was unconscionable and it now needs to make up for this by redoubling efforts to push for their freedom.

Holly Cartner, Europe and Central Asia director for Human Rights Watch

(New York) – Uzbek authorities should immediately release the human rights defender and farmers’ rights activist Ganikhon Mamatkhanov, who is facing trial on politically motivated charges, Human Rights Watch said today.

Mamatkhanov has regularly provided commentary on the human rights situation in Ferghana, in eastern Uzbekistan, to Radio Ozodlik, the Uzbek branch of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). Local human rights defenders believe that Mamatkhanov’s arrest is in retaliation for his human rights work and public criticism of the government.

“Activists who fight for farmers’ rights are a growing target of government persecution,” said Holly Cartner, Europe and Central Asia director for Human Rights Watch. “The arrest of Mamatkhanov was clearly a set-up, and he should be freed immediately.”

Mamatkhanov faces charges of fraud and bribery. He was detained on October 9, 2009, under circumstances that appeared to have been staged to frame him.

Mamatkhanov joined the human rights movement in Uzbekistan around 1996 as a member of the Independent Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan. About four years ago, he joined the Committee for the Protection of Individual Rights. He works for social and economic rights, including the rights of farmers, a number of whom were the victims of unlawful land confiscation earlier this year.

On October 9, an unidentified man called Mamatkhanov, asking him to meet near the Ferghana City market. Abdusalom Ergashev, another human rights advocate who spoke to Mamatkhanov by phone that day, said that when the two men met shortly after the call, the man demanded that Mamatkhanov open his bag.

When Mamatkhanov asked why, the man reportedly started to hit him and shoved something into his bag. Mamatkhanov tried to stop him and, realizing that it was a set-up, tried to throw the item away. However, he was immediately detained by the police who confiscated the item, subsequently found to be 500,000 Uzbek som (about US $330). The man who planted the money on Mamatkhanov was later identified in the indictment as Ruzimat Usmanov, a farmer. Mamatkhanov reported that he had never seen Usmanov before.

On October 12, the Ferghana City Court authorized Mamatkhanov’s arrest on preliminary charges of fraud (article 168-2) and bribery (article 211-1,) and ruled that he should remain in custody for the duration of the investigation. The indictment, however, cites articles 168-3 and 211-3, each of which carries a longer prison sentence — up to 10 years in prison.

According to information provided to Human Rights Watch, several days before Mamatkhanov was detained, Usmanov alleged that Mamatkhanov had demanded 6 million som (about US $3,990) from him to help him regain ownership of his farm. Another farmer, Tahir Sulemanov, alleged that Mamatkhanov had demanded 4.5 million som (about US $2,990) from him.

Several days after Mamatkhanov was detained, his family said that about 10 local police and officers from the Ferghana Regional Prosecutor’s Office searched Mamatkhanov’s house, saying they were looking for a computer. They showed a search warrant but did not give their names. Mamatkhanov, however, reportedly does not own a computer.

When Mamatkhanov was brought to the prosecutor’s office for further questioning on October 24, he told his younger son Jamoliddin that he had suffered two heart attacks while in detention. Mamatkhanov asked his son to relay this information to Ergashev. Ergashev submitted a formal request to the investigator asking that Mamatkhanov receive special care, which he was told would be provided. However, Mamatkhanov’s family remains concerned for his health.

Mamatkhanov has been targeted before because of his human rights work. He has frequently criticized the police and the local authorities as part of his work. According to information received by Human Rights Watch, roughly two months ago the head of the Ferghana City Police, Azamhodja Umurzakov, openly threatened Mamatkhanov in front of the governor (Hokkim) and prosecutor of Ferghana City, saying that he had worked in several “difficult” districts of the Ferghana region and knows insurgents whose help he could easily solicit to cause Mamatkhanov to disappear.

When Mamatkhanov learned of Umurzakov’s threat, he reportedly sent a written complaint to the Regional Prosecutor’s Office. In response, he reportedly received a letter saying his allegations could not be confirmed and that the investigation was closed. However, a reliable source told Human Rights Watch that at least one witness came forward during the investigation to confirm that Umurzakov had made such a statement.

The Mamatkhanov case is one of a growing number of cases of Uzbek activists arrested for working for farmers’ rights. On July 30, Dilmurod Saidov, an independent journalist from Samarkand, was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison. Human Rights Watch and local defenders believe this was in retaliation for his efforts to expose local officials’ abuse of power and corruption and his willingness to  HYPERLINK “http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/08/03/uzbekistan-free-journalist-sentenced-12-years&#8221; fight for the rights of farmers in the Samarkand region. Dilmurod Saidov is serving his sentence in a prison colony in Navoi.

On July 28, two days before Saidov was sentenced, another activist, Oyazimhon Hidirova, chairman of the Arnasai Branch of the International Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan, was HYPERLINK “http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/08/18/uzbekistan-rights-activist-arrested”  arrested in apparent retaliation for her efforts to expose corruption by agricultural officials in Arnasai, a district in the Jizzakh region. Before Hidirova was convicted, however, she became eligible for release under an amnesty, and the charges were dropped.

Mamatkhanov was arrested less than two weeks before the European Union lifted the arms embargo, the last of the original EU sanctions imposed on Uzbekistan in November 2005 in the wake of the massacre by Uzbek security forces of mostly peaceful protesters in Andijan, which left hundreds dead. The EU reached this decision on October 27 at the monthly General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC), held in Luxembourg, justifying the move as a means to “encourage[e] the Uzbek authorities to take further substantive steps to improve the rule of law and human rights situation on the ground.”

“The human rights situation is clearly not going to improve as long as the Uzbek authorities continue to put human rights defenders and activists behind bars,” Cartner said. “The EU’s decision to lift the already symbolic arms embargo while at least 14 human rights defenders remain in prison was unconscionable and it now needs to make up for this by redoubling efforts to push for their freedom.”

They are: Solijon Abdurakhmanov, Azam Formonov, Nosim Isakov, Gaibullo Jalilov, Alisher Karamatov, Jamshid Karimov, Norboi Kholjigitov, Abdurasul Khudainasarov, Ganihon Mamatkhanov, Farkhad Mukhtarov, Habibulla Okpulatov, Yuldash Rasulov, Dilmurod Saidov, and Akzam Turgunov.

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Pandanglah Padang




Written by admin
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
rezwan

Gempa bumi berukuran 7.9 skala Ritcher yang menggegarkan Sumatera Barat khususnya di kawasan Padang Pariaman telah mengorbankan hampir 1200 jiwa rakyat Indonesia dan 3000 mangsa masih gagal dijumpai.  Dikala negara yang mempunyai majoriti umat Islam paling ramai di dunia masih lagi dalam suasana  meraikan kemeriahan sambutan Aidilfitri, kegembiraan sambutan lebaran tersebut bagaikan disentap secara tiba-tiba.  Kejadian gempa yang berlaku pada 10 syawal iaitu pada 30 September telah meranapkan rumah kediaman, hospital, pejabat kerajaan dan kedai-kedai.  Malah anak-anak  menjadi yatim piatu, saudara mara kehilangan keluarga tercinta serta  kemusnahan harta benda.

Ibarat kata pepatah “Sudah jatuh ditimpa tangga”. Begitulah nasih rakyat Indonesia yang sering dilanda bencana.  Ini kerana pada Mei 2006, satu kejadian gempa bumi telah menggoncangkan penduduk bumi Yogyakarta. Malah peristiwa yang tidak dapat dilupakan oleh seluruh penduduk dunia adalah Tsunami yang telah melumpuhkan seluruh Banda Acheh dan meragut ratusan ribu manusia pada 2004. Kedudukan muka bumi Indonesia yang berada di dalam lingkaran gunung berapai menjadi salah satu faktor penyumbang kekerapan kejadian bencana alam.

Atas semangat keprihatinan yang tinggi, Malaysian Relief Agency (MRA) dengan hasil sumbangan beberapa sektor swasta  serta orang ramai yang prihatin telah menghulurkan bantuan bagi meringankan beban magsa gempa di Padang Pariaman.  MRA merupakan badan bukan kerajaan (NGO) yang baru sahaja ditubuhkan pada awal 2009.  Walaupun MRA baru sahaja ditubuhkan, namun barisan kepimpinan yang menunjangi badan ini telah mempunyai pengalaman yang amat luas dalam bidang misi kemanusiaan dibeberapa buah negara seperti  di Afghanistan, Pakistan, Acheh, Gaza dan Sri Langka.

Semenjak kejadian gempa yang berlaku, MRA telah menghantar pasukan perubatan hampir setiap minggu.  Penulis berkesempatan terlibat sebagai sukarelawan bagi pasukan ke-6 yang telah diamanahkan untuk membantu mangsa gempa selama seminggu .  Pasukan ke-6 yang bertolak pada 7 November 2009 yang lalu telah diketuai oleh Dr Mohd Daud Sulaiman yang merupakan pakar kardiologi di Hospital Pakar Damansara. Turut menjayakan misi  ke-6 ini juga adalah Dr Hassan Mat yang merupakan pakar bedah di Kajang Plaza Madical Centre berserta 3 orang jururawat.

Kami bertolak ke Padang Pariaman dari lapangan terbang LCCT dengan menaiki pesawat AK474 dengan membawa bersama bekalan ubat-ubatan.  Walaupun gempa baru sahaja melanda Padang, namun bilangan penumpang hampir memenuhi pesawat Airbus A320 itu.  Perjalanan udara ini tidaklah begitu meletihkan kami kerana ia hanya memakan masa lebih kurang 1 jam perjalanan.  Kami selamat tiba di Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Minangkabau tepat jam 4:30 petang waktu tempatan.

Trauma

Rombongan kami telah disambut mesra oleh Pak Bernard Jabar yang merupakan ketua Dewan Da’wah Islamiyah Indonesia di Pariaman. Ada satu perkara yang menarik perhatian penulis,di mana ramai penduduk di sekitar tersebut membawa anak-anak mereka berkelah di luar lapangan terbang sambil memerhatikan pesawat yang berlepas dan mendarat.  Walaupun pada petang itu, hujan turun dengan lebat, namun mereka tidak berganjak malah terus memerhatikan pesawat-pesawat yang ada.  Bagi penulis, ini mungkin salah satu cara hiburan bagi penduduk setempat untuk menghilangkan rasa trauma yang dialamai akibat kejadian gempa yang berlaku.

Kami terus dibawa menaiki van ke Kampung Jati dimana terletaknya sekretariat MRA yang lokasinya berhampiran dengan Kota Pariaman.  Jarak antara sekretariat dengan   lapangan terbang antarabangsa adalah sejauh 43 km dari.  Perjalan menuju ke sekretariat  memakan masa hampir 1 jam dengan keadaan jalan yang retak dan merekah.

Walaupun masih berada dalam kepenatan, pada sebelah malamnya pula kami terus membuat persiapan seperti memeriksa peralatan kelengkapan perubatan dan menyusun ubat-ubatan bagi tujuan pemeriksaan kesihatan yang akan berjalan sepanjang tempoh keberadaan kami di sana..

Pariaman

Pariaman merupakan provinsi yang paling teruk dilanda gempa.  Sepanjang perjalan ke Pariaman ini, penulis dapat melihat banyak kemusnahan seperti kedai-kedai yang roboh dan rumah yang hanya tinggal bumbung. Penduduk tempatan hanya mampu membina khemah berhampiran rumah kediaman yang ranap tanpa ada bekalan elektrik dan air bersih.  Musim hujan yang turun pada bulan November menyulitkan lagi kehidupan penduduk. Ini menyebabkan mereka mudah terdedah kepada pelbagai penyakit.

Dari segi geografi, Pariaman terletak di Sumatera Barat dan terbahagi kepada 3 daerah iaitu Pariaman Utara, Pariaman Tengah dan Pariaman Selatan. Jumlah penduduk di sini seramai 76 000 orang.  Hampir kesemua penduduknya beragama Islam dan berketurunan Minang.  Tidak seperti di Jakarta yang subur dengan sektor pelancongan dan perindustrian,kebanyakan penduduk Pariaman  bergantung kepada  sektor pertanian dengan mengerjakan padi bukit.  Justeru, taraf sosiekonomi penduduk di sini sangat rendah dan jauh kebelekang berbanding kota-kota besar yang ada di Indonesia.

Kesan daripada kejadian gempa tersebut, menyebabkan sektor ekonomi di sini terencat  dan sistem perkhidmatan awam lumpuh.

Misi ke- 6

Menurut Dr Daud sewaktu memberikan taklimat setelah kami sampai di Pariaman, menyatakan bahawa misi ke 6 kali ini mempunyai tugas yang  amat penting untuk mengkaji keberkesanan bantuan perkhidmatan yang telah disampaikan oleh pasukan-pasukan yang terdahulu semenjak misi pertama yang telah dihantar pada 2 Oktober 2009.

Ujar beliau lagi yang merupakan setiausaha agung MRA, setakat ini, MRA telah menghantar lebih 35 orang sukarelawan yang terdiri dari doktor-doktor  dan jururawat bagi memberikan rawatan perubatan.  Justeru, pemantauan gerak kerja perlu dilakukan agar perkhidmatan yang efisien dapat diberikan.

Beliau juga berkata bahawa, misi ini juga perlu untuk  berbincang dan memperkukuhkan lagi jalinan kerjasama antara MRA dengan  NGO tempatan seperti Dewan Da’wah Islamiyah Indonesia dan Bulan Sabit Merah Indonesia(BSMI), supaya bantuan yang telah dihulurkan melalui NGO tersebut telah sampai ke golongan sasar.

Secara umumnya MRA juga telah melaksanakan beberapa projek jangka masa pendek .Antaranya ialah:

1.         Bantuan “sembako” (sembilan bahan pokok) yang mengandungi 9 bahan asas seperti beras, gula, garam, tepung dan lain-lain untuk diagihkan terus kepada mangsa.

2.         Klinik bergerak (mobile clinic) yang memberi rawatan perubatan secara percuma di kawasan di mana berlakunya bencana serta kawasan-kawasan pedalaman.

3.         Rumah Darurat yang berharga 5.5 juta Rupiah (RM 2000.00) yang diengkapi 2 buah bilik sedang dibina bagi mangsa-mangsa yang hilang tempat tinggal. Setakat ini MRA telah bersetuju untuk membina 100 buah rumah.

4.         Mendirikan sekolah ceria bagi membolehkan anak-anak di sana mendapat pendidikan sekaligus berperanan untuk menghilangkan rasa trauma yang dialami oleh mereka.

Tambahan pula, MRA turut merancang untuk melaksanakan projek micro finance yang berupa projek jangka masa panjang iaitu memberi 100 buah mesin jahit kepada penduduk tempatan.  Pariamanan sememangnya terkenal dengan hasil sulaman yang bermutu tinggi dan kebanyakan dijual di dalam serta di luar negera  dan seperti di Bukit Tinggi, Maninjau dan Malaysia. Oleh itu, dengan bantuan tersebut, ia diharapkan dapat memulihkan ekonomi dan taraf hidup mereka.

Perlukan Bantuan

Sepanjang kami berada di sana, penduduk tempatan begitu senang dan selesa dengan kehadiran kami.  Malah, klinik bergerak kami telah ‘diserbu’ oleh pesakit sehinggakan kami terpaksa melanjutkan perkhidmatan perubatan sehingga larut  malam. Secara purata dalam sehari , kami terpaksa merawat  hampir 150 orang pesakit.  Dalam tempoh  seminggu itu juga, kami juga telah berjaya menjalankan 25 operasi pembedahan.

Walaupun pada waktu itu, beberapa isu-isu kontrovesi seperti Tarian Pendet , penderaan pembantu rumah warga Indonesia dan lain-lain telah mengeruhkan hubungan rakyat Malaysia dan Indonesia, namun dengan semangat yang kental dan niat ikhlas untuk membantu bangsa yang serumpun dengan Malaysia. Isu-isu tersebut tidak sedikit pun melemahkan motivasi kami malah penerimaan dan layanan yang baik penduduk terhadap kami diluar sangkaan.

Sebenarnya, usaha yang dilaksanakan oleh MRA masih lagi kecil kerana ramai lagi mangsa yang belum mendapatkan bantuan yang sewajarnya.  Adalah besar harapan penulis agar ada di antara rakyat yang prihatin dapat menghulurkan bantuan dari segala aspek samada masa, harta, idea dan tenaga. Seperti kata pepatah “Berat sama dipikul ringan sama dijinjing”.

Mohd Rezwan Alias

Ps: Sebarang sumbangan boleh disalurkan kepada Malaysian Relief Agency (MRA)

Acc numb: 5640 9820 6365 (Maybank) www.mra.myh

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