Jakarta. Senen sub-district in Central Jakarta has introduced Hibiscus, a mobile service to improve access to health care. Its paramedics tend to patients in their neighborhoods, eliminating costly visits at hospitals that many are unable to afford. They provide free checkups, vaccination, cervical cancer tests, mammograms, HIV tests, dental examination and other preventive services. The Hibiscus car was an old ambulance, which after some major tuning got equipped with sophisticated medical tools that made it become a mobile clinic. It now serves a community of more than 100,000.
Widyaningsih, a midwife and Hibiscus field coordinator, said many people avoid health centers because they are embarrassed, not only of being ill, but also of not having enough money to pay for the most basic medical help.
"That's why we come to them," she told the Jakarta Globe on Friday (06/04).