Zul’s Service to Communities on Remote Islands

Zul’s story reflects dedication of mothers who have to live away from their own families to serve others.

Zul conducts health checks and distributes blood-boosting tablets to teenagers at Kampung Naga Junior High School, Mata Wae Village, Sano Nggoang, West Manggarai Regency. (Personal doc)

ACTNews, WEST MANGGARAI – Early in the morning, Zul Indarwansyah (29) rushed into the forest in Kampung Naga, Mata Wae Village, Sano Nggoang, West Manggarai Regency, East Nusa Tenggara. A villager called him at 7 a.m. “Someone needs your help. A woman just gave birth,” said a resident who rushed to pick her up at her residence that morning.

When she arrived, she saw that some of the villagers were gathering, carrying a stretcher made of bamboo and sarong. There was a woman and a newborn baby on the stretcher. At that time, the woman was in critical condition due to bleeding. Zul immediately provided first aid.

"The mother was bleeding because the placenta had not come out. I put the IV, cut off the placenta, and took them to the village clinic to be referred to the community health center. At that time, the hemoglobin level was very low, and the pulse was so weak. However, thank God, she made it alive,” said Zul, remembering the incident, when contacted by ACTNews, Monday (12/21) evening.

It was one of the incidents that Zul still remembers today. Kampung Naga is located quite far from the capital city of Labuan Bajo Regency, about 31 kilometers away. The public facilities in the village are inadequate.

Zul explained that there were many women who opted to give birth at home with the help of traditional birth attendants, putting the mothers and babies at risk. In 2019 alone, out of 30 births per year, there were still around 3-5 pregnant women in Kampung Naga who chose to give birth at home. Therefore, Zul's role as a midwife is essential. She also gives education about pregnancy and postpartum health.  He serves as an educator and helps every pregnant woman from pregnancy to postpartum.

"We hope that there will be assistance that reaches Kampung Naga. The village still need proper lighting,” said Zul.

Zul's role as a village midwife is very much supported by her family. Her parents, husband, and children have relentlessly encouraged her to continue doing her job. She even took care of her patients professionally when she was pregnant "I once had to take a patient to the nearest health facility when I was pregnant with my second child," she continued.

Zul (far left) welcoming of a patient transported by a share taxi. Even when pregnant, she still takes care of her patients. (Personal Doc.)

Zul had to live far away from her family to carry out her duty as a village midwife. Her parents helped taking care of her children. The access to the village where she used to work was quite difficult.

"This year, Alhamdulillah, I am assigned to a community health center near my house in Nanga Lili Village, South Lembor. In Kampung Naga, where I served then, now there are two substitute midwives,” she said. Zul advised that she hopes that every mother around the world must be empowered and doing their best in their respective fields. []