Going the extra mile for Orang Asli communities


A PBOA team member examining an Orang Asli child at a mobile clinic in Kampung Ladoi, Pos Hau. — Bernama

FOR the Orang Asli communities living in the remote interior of the country far from hospitals and clinics, it is a challenge accessing good medical care.

However, the Orang Asli Mobile Teams (PBOA) bring a ray of hope as they valiantly venture into such areas to provide crucial health services to these communities.

Dr Muhammad Aiman Aziz, a 30-year-old medical officer with the Gua Musang district health office’s PBOA, said they remained committed to their mission despite having to navigate vast distances to the villages and endure unpredictable weather.

“Our mobile clinic offers essential services like diabetes screenings and blood pressure checks as well as check-ups for pregnant women and newborn babies.

A PBOA team led by Dr Muhammad Aiman (centre) at Kampung Ladoi, Pos Hau in Kelantan.A PBOA team led by Dr Muhammad Aiman (centre) at Kampung Ladoi, Pos Hau in Kelantan.

“For every trip into the interior, we carry the needed medical supplies including vaccines and equipment,” he told Bernama while visiting the Temiar Orang Asli settlement in Pos Hau, Gua Musang in Kelantan.

Dr Muhammad Aiman said there were seven Orang Asli settlements in the district.

Pos Hau, Pos Gob, Pos Belatim, and Pos Pasik are under the jurisdiction of the Gua Musang PBOA while Pos Balar, Pos Simpor and Pos Bihai are managed by support teams from the Tanah Merah, Bachok, and Machang offices.

The team traversing roads in rough condition to get to the remote interior.The team traversing roads in rough condition to get to the remote interior.

“Every week, the Gua Musang PBOA unit – comprising one medical and two assistant officers, four nurses, one healthcare assistant, one pharmacist and three drivers – travels to Orang Asli settlements,” said Dr Muhammad Aiman.

“Each mobile clinic project can last four days.

“Unfavourable weather conditions may require the team to extend their stay in the villages,” he added.

However, the PBOA team members forget their exhaustion when they are greeted by the Orang Asli communities who always eagerly await their arrival.

They forget about the difficulties when they are greeted by eager Kampung Tapai villagers.They forget about the difficulties when they are greeted by eager Kampung Tapai villagers.

Mobile clinics are set up in two to three villages each day based on each community’s needs and if required, the team members also see patients at night, including villagers attacked by tigers.

Initially uncertain of the unit’s role, Dr Muhammad Aiman has come to understand their vital work.

As for PBOA nurse Siti Nuraisyah Mohd Asri, 32, who hails from Kuala Krai, the names of the Orang Asli patients are etched in her memory.

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