Yandry Pamangin is a young doctor who works at a Community Health Center in Yalimo Regency, Papua. The Elelim Community Health Center is where he works every day. His official house and the Puskesmas are still in the same complex. Quoting from merdeka.com, Yandry only needs to walk to meet patients who are ready to be examined. Almost 100 patients queue at the Elelim Community Health Center a day. Residents flock down the mountain to seek treatment.
Yalimo Regency is located in the central highlands of Papua while Elelim is the city center. However, after the riots in June 2021, the number of patients experienced a drastic decline. Many residents choose to stay at home and do not dare to come to the Puskesmas for treatment. There are not many doctors on duty at the Elelim Community Health Center. Yandry is the only general practitioner with Non-Permanent Employee (PTT) status.
There are three other doctors with the status of Civil Servants (PNS). Currently, some residents are still evacuating to safer areas, for example in Wamena or Jayapura. A number of health workers on duty at the Elelim Community Health Center also chose to leave.
“There weren’t too many after the riots, sometimes 20, sometimes more, sometimes less,” Yandry said. Only a few health workers still endured. Initially, only emergency or emergency services were open. However, patients with all health complaints are still welcome and served. Several residents often visit Yandry not only in the Puskesmas but also at his official residence.
For residents with serious illnesses who are unable to come, Yandry chooses to visit patients in their respective homes. In a day, he can visit two to three houses. In fact, even up to 10 houses in one day.
The distance of the location also varies, ranging from 10-15 kilometers. The roads that are traversed are not the same, from unpaved roads to the top of the mountains where people’s houses are located. Usually, the 32-year-old doctor has to ride a dirt bike to get to people’s homes. A bag containing various medicines and examination equipment go along with him to people’s homes. Residents’ complaints also vary from coughing, diarrhea, Acute Respiratory Infection to pneumonia. For drugs for HIV/AIDS patients, which are located far from the Puskesmas, Yandry also delivered them.
In addition to seeing the progress of the patient, his visit is to remind and provide enthusiasm to residents who carry out routine treatment because patients are not allowed to stop their medication or drug therapy without a doctor’s recommendation.
Usually, patients are given medication for a period of two to three months at a time. This step is a form of anticipation for the cessation of treatment carried out by the patient. Yandry said that there were many obstacles that residents experienced when seeking treatment at the Puskesmas. It starts from the access or distance that is too far to the costs that must be incurred by residents.
“Especially for HIV patients, we provide medicine to their homes to see how things are because they are also afraid.
Not only migrants but natives are also afraid of the security situation. Natives also fear because they saw the fire yesterday,” he said.
The doctor who graduated from Cenderawasih University in 2016 admitted that his work location is an area of conflict. The fear of riots sometimes haunts Yandry. However, the responsibility for providing health services to residents is his priority as a doctor.
Starting his assignment at Yalimo in April 2018, Yandry immediately made a number of adaptations with local residents. He also mingles and blends with people from all walks of life. Yandry learned the daily language of the Yalimo residents. It is his initial capital to get closer to the community. Papua is known for its many regional languages. “In the beginning, there was a language barrier, but I immediately adapted. The first time I came to meet a native here, I asked about the common language that is often used, he translated it, I took notes,” he said.
In addition to serving as a general practitioner, Yandry is also the coordinator or person in charge of the Covid-19 vaccination in the Elelim District. Convincing the public to participate in the vaccination program is a challenge for Yandry because some people are still reluctant and afraid to be vaccinated. Fallacious news or hoaxes about vaccines quickly spread in the community. “The biggest challenge for me is that there are still many people who refuse because some links it to a hoax. Therefore, they don’t want to be vaccinated due to it,” he explained.
After the riots, the Covid-19 vaccination was temporarily suspended. A number of officers and the public are still evacuating. Usually, vaccination is done in government agencies. It starts from the Polres, Koramil, or buildings owned by the Regional Government. Moreover, our post is at the Health Service office because we store vaccines downstairs, everything is there. We serve those who want to come,” Yandry explained.
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