Millwood, VA, December 23, 2014
Dr. Dana Branner helps a child arriving on the USNS Mercy following the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2005

The global NGO Project HOPE says innovative health programs will be the driving force for better health in Indonesia as the country takes stock of the health care landscape on the tenth anniversary of the deadly tsunami that washed over the region.

A staggering 230,000 people were killed in the regional disaster, triggered by a 9.15-magnitude earthquake that struck Indonesia’s Aceh Province on Sumatra Island on December 26, 2004.  It was seen as one of the most devastating natural disasters in recent history as over 1.7 million people were displaced in the worst affected countries - Indonesia, India, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand. 

Project HOPE, a global health education and humanitarian assistance organization, responded to the humanitarian crisis by sending more than 200 medical volunteers to help in the aftermath and donating more than $7 million in medical supplies and medicines. 

“Project HOPE is honored to have played an important role, during the past decade, in delivering health services to Indonesia and other parts of the region that were devastated by the tsunami. HOPE has provided a breadth of expertise through its humanitarian missions alongside the U.S. Navy and played a crucial role in strengthening the country’s ability to care for its own,” said John P. Howe III, M.D., President and CEO, Project HOPE.

In 2006, when an earthquake hit the Central Java region, HOPE responded with a Mobile Health Caravan providing pediatric care, psychotherapy, health worker training and more in remote areas without access to medical care. 

In Aceh Province, one of the most underserved areas of Indonesia due to its geographic inaccessibility and the impact of the 2004 tsunami on the healthcare infrastructure and healthcare providers, HOPE programs have improved the health of women and children in two sub-districts in Aceh Barat on the island of Sumatra by expanding access to quality maternal and child health services through the promotion of healthy behaviors at the community level. 

Women at a textile factory in Subang, Indonesia are eligible for services through Project HOPE's HealthWorks program

Today, Project HOPE’s efforts in Indonesia continue to focus on improving the health of women and children.  Through an innovative new program called HealthWorks, Project HOPE is working with factory managers and suppliers to sustainably promote health and wellness among women factory workers in Indonesia.

“HealthWorks is focusing on issues that affect maternal mortality and include anemia testing and treatment, increasing the quality of and access to maternal and reproductive health services available to women within the factories,” said Nasaruddin Sheldon, M.D., Project HOPE’s Country Director for Indonesia.

“We’re offering health education sessions on topics such as antenatal and postnatal care, preparation for delivery, family planning, nutrition, and basic hygiene and disease prevention. A key component of the program is building the capacity of the health staff employed by the factories, so that the program can be sustained over the long term,” said Dr. Sheldon.

About Project HOPE

Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world’s first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now provides medical training and health education, and conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 30 countries.

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