Meet Siti Aminah – world champion health worker
As a small contribution to World Health Workers Week, 8-12 April, we’re telling you the story (via the Jakarta Globe) of 56 year old midwife Siti Aminah, one of 87,000+ midwives in Indonesia who deserve a prize for the amazing work they do to help poor people. Working in Jakarta’s slum areas, Siti turned her own minivan into an ambulance and is dedicated to reaching out to and providing medical care for slum dwellers. She charges her patients little, with some paying nothing at all. Instead, she accepts anything they offer as a substitute for money, and often only receives a “thank you” for her services. Some patients pay her with vegetables, cakes, and old building material to show their appreciation. She only charges middle-class patients money, which helps cover the expenses of treating the poor. She is building a kindergarten in a slum area called Rawagatel, literally “Itch-Swamp’’, where skin disease is common among the inhabitants. Not only do the children love her there, but also the women. She intends to teach them how to help supporting their families. It is this entrepreneurial spirit, trust and sense of community that makes Siti a successful health worker. And this week we celebrate her contribution and the many other health worker change agents working hard across the world.