25 January 2019

doctorSHARE’s Medical Services in Kei Besar, Southeast Maluku (January 14 – 18, 2019)


At the beginning of 2019 doctorSHARE once again brought volunteers to provide health services to Kei Besar Island, Southeast Maluku Regency, Maluku. This service was conducted at the Kei Besar Nursing Home (PRG) for five days on January 14 – 18, 2019. Volunteers who participated in the medical service consisted of medical and non-medical volunteers.

The volunteer team departed from Jakarta using airplane transportation to Langgur, Kei Kecil Island. Arriving in Kei Kecil, the trip continued to Kei Besar using a fast boat. Arriving at Elat Harbor, Kei Besar, the team immediately moved to PRG to prepare the medical service needs.

In accordance with the medical service theme “Bringing Smiles to Eastern Indonesia” the priority in this service was dental services for the community in Kei Besar. The two volunteer dentists on duty during the service were drg. Erna Octaviana and drg. Julia Putri Dewi Saraswati.

Throughout the five days of service, 69 dental patients were successfully treated at PRG Kei Besar. The action taken was extraction or pulling, the number of teeth extracted was 127 teeth.

“The cases are mostly GR (ganren redix). The tooth makhota has been destroyed, so what is extracted is the remains of the tooth and its roots,” said drg. Erna at the end of the medical service.

Of the total 127 teeth extracted, 27 were diagnosed as cases of pupla gangrene, 95 cases of root residue or gangren redix, and five cases of milk tooth extraction or exfoliation.

“All the procedures performed were tooth extraction. There were some patients whose other teeth looked like they could be filled. However, due to the short duration of the event and the limited tools and materials, we could only extract the teeth,” he added.

During the medical service, the dentist on duty was assisted by nurses from PRG Kei Besar, Telli Delfita Rumte and Nova Lutur. In this medical service, doctorSHARE included a volunteer nutritionist, Ratih Restu Indriani, who provided nutrition training to the nurses at the PRG.

The coordinator of doctorSHARE’s PRG in Kei Besar, Dr. Angelina Vanessa explained that the health service this time was deliberately focused on dental examination. This consideration was based on the evaluation of the previous medical service activities in October 2018. The medical service at that time was considered quite overwhelming for the volunteers and local medical personnel.

The medical service was held on October 22-24, 2018, and provided four services: general medicine, pregnancy and gynecological examination, dental examination, and minor surgery.
“Yesterday, it was more difficult to divide the concentration. There were many direct patients, general patients and minor surgery patients. Dental services were also strained. We had to turn down a lot of dental patients,” said Dr. Vanessa.


Four Years Without a Dentist

Furthermore, Dr. Vanessa also admitted that dental services are an activity that she would like to carry out regularly. This desire is not without reason, on an island with an area of 550 kmĀ² and inhabited by around 16,000 people spread across more than 100 villages, there is not a single dentist.

“The last dentist was at the health center in 2014-2015. After that, there are no more until now,” she explained.

Dr. Vanessa explained that the nearest dentist is at Tual Hospital. The community has to travel by sea for 1.5 hours first using a fast boat in order to be treated by a dentist.

“If they are sick, they are usually left alone. They gargle with salt water, or use local medicines,” he said.

This information was also confirmed by several patients. One of them is Anakletus Hungan, a patient who claims to have had a toothache for more than a year, and it always hurts when eating. “It hurts when I shake or eat. If there is no doctor, I pull it out myself or rinse my mouth with wine,” said Anakletus.