Better medical care for Ulu Baram Penans

  • Nation
  • Monday, 14 Dec 2009

LONG KEVOK (Ulu Baram): The people here are getting better and more efficient basic healthcare and medical services after the Health Ministry improved the facilities at the Long Kevok Clinic, located 350km inland by timber road from Miri.

Over the years, Loleh Tulit and Galan Gamburo have seen it all.

These elderly Penan men from Long Kevok settlement in Ulu Baram district in northern Sarawak remember the time when their families and friends had to walk two weeks across mountains and thick jungles to go to Miri for basic medical help.

Pregnant women, the elderly, babies and children were not spared, too.

“The clinic facilities have improved a lot. We are grateful that they are much better now.

“Now that more of our people (Penans) have identity cards, they will also get medical treatment,” Tulit, a farmer, said.

“We do not need to travel so far anymore. The problems with the birth certificates, ICs and the health services have been handled very well. The Government has done a good job.

“What we need now are better roads. The timber roads are in very bad shape and the bridges are in need of urgent repair.

“These road problems have not been solved for decades,” he said.

Gamburo hoped that full-time doctors can be stationed at rural settlements because they still had to travel to Miri and Kuching for serious illnesses.

Meanwhile, a large number of Penans were seen lining up at the Long Kevok Clinic daily.

Telang Usan state assemblyman Lihan Jok said the clinic catered to more than 1,000 people living in and around the Long Kevok Penan settlement.

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