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WHO paper

  • 2015/03/24
WHO Recommendations

Paper for the Workshop on ‘Disaster Management for the Health Sector in Indonesia’,


Sita T. van Bemmelen1

On the night of the Kuta Blast the 12th of October and the following days literally hundreds of private persons reacted spontaneously2 and surged forward to offer their voluntary assistance to the victims, their families and the authorities dealing with the crisis. They became active at ground zero – Kuta, the Sanglah hospital, other hospitals and clinics as well as at the consulates and the airport in the days to follow. They became volunteer as an individual, member of an organisation, student of one of the many educational facilities in Bali, or employee of a concerned private company. Balinese and other Indonesians as well as expatriates living in Bali were involved, and people even flew in from other cities in the country and from abroad to lend a helping hand.It is beyond the scope of this presentation to do justice to the voluntary work and other forms of assistance provided by numerous outstanding individuals and all organisations concerned. I just mention in alphabetical order the following organisations to give an impression what ‘civil society’ in Bali amounted to in those memorable days:


  • Bali Hati Foundation
  • Bali International Women’s Association (BIWA)
  • Bali SOS
  • BSS Help Fund
  • Crisis Care Foundation
  • FDP (Forum Peduli Denpasar)
  • Forum Merah Putih
  • Friends of Bali Foundation
  • Ibu Peduli Bali
  • IDEP
  • JRKB (Network of volunteers for humanity Bali)
  • Lion’s Club Bali
  • Parum Samigita (mainly active at Ground Zero, Kuta)
  • Rotary Bali (various branches)
  • YKIP
  • Various church congregations
  • hotels, travel agencies, diving companies, food and beverage import companies, ice factories, food chains and restaurants

A number of national and international NGO’s were also involved. To mention some of them: AUSAID, IMC (International Medical Corps)3 , International and National (Indonesian) Red Cross, and Rotary International Crisis.

The assistance by volunteer groups and individual volunteers at Sanglah Hospital and other hospitals4 encompassed :

  • providing ‘musles’ and ‘brains’. Volunteers worked at the information desk, hotline, communication centre, crisis centre, morgue, intake of medicines and other materials, the Melati ward, café’s. Some continued at the combined hotline/communication and crisis centre at Sanglah hospital for more than a month.
  • giving donations in money or kind (either individually or through an organisation). Includes those who stepped forward as blood donor.
  • organizing financial, psychological and medical follow-up assistance to bereaved Indonesian families as well as injured victims and their families

The focus of this paper will be on recommendations for a future emergency plan for the Health Sector in Bali from the point of view of volunteer assistance, which was mainly non-medical in nature. Therefore I will not mention any recommendations regarding medical treatment and care5. Hopefully the recommendations below will also have relevance for other hospitals operating under similar circumstances. Recommendations touch upon the general need for better coordination and continue with suggestions how to improve mechanisms and roles for volunteers in the various fields they were active in.

I like to thank Muriel Ydo (President of BIWA), Frank Olcvary and Steven Graeme (Bali Hati), Jane Marie Lumy (hotline), Petra Schneider (IDEP), Sisa Dejesus (IMC) and my husband Oka Pidada for their informed comments. I apologize to others who might have given equally useful input. Hopefully they will come forward with corrections, additional remarks and recommendations. Wording and emphasis in this paper are my own.
2 The number of volunteers listed at the Sanglah hospital contains over a 1000 names, of which 600 Indonesians (List with Bali Hati).
IMC Established an office in Bali and presently coordinates the Bali Recovery Group (BRG) which comprises most of the organizations listed above. The BRG is the umbrella secretariate that emerged out of the desire of community organizations and NGO’s to coordinate assistance to the victims and was established a few days after the blast. Some organizations came into being later for family support which are not mentioned here (one rather high profile example is Zero to One).
4 Some volunteers made it their task to monitor injured victims – foreign and Indonesian – who were treated at other hospitals than Sanglah.
5 Many foreign medical specialists came to volunteer their assistance, for example for identification of bodies, specialized operations. I wil not refer to their work. There were also two foreign nurses, one with burn care and the other with psychiatric expertise who volunteered on Melati unit for one and two months respectively.
  1. Coordination of volunteer assistance >
  2. Collection of victims from the disaster site >
  3. Blood Donations >
  4. Intake Desk, Hotlines and Crisis Centre >
  5. Data Collection >
  6. Intake of donations of Medicines >
  7. Morgue >
  8. Housekeeping >
  9. Media Outreach Centre >
  10. Family support and medical follow-up >
  11. Trauma counseling and other follow-up services >
  12. Money (insurance, funding, donations) >
  13. Phasing out: parties and rewards >

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