Obestaf Sakerebau (68) and Sumi Astuti Siritoitet (56), elderly husband and wife living themselves in Barat hamlet of Silabu Village as the three children of them have got married. They have been participating in CDRM&CDS’ partner households empowerment program since 2016. “Though I’m old I have to do farming to earn my life. I grow banana, areca nuts, coconut and taro” he said telling his daily activity.
Just like other villagers, he has to farm and sell his production to collectors who come to his village. “I sell banana every two weeks. I also sell taro, areca nuts and coconut in harvest time. I earn IDR 250,000 on average monthly. This money is not sufficient to afford our daily stuff (rice, cooking oil, salt and side dishes). Sometimes I have to go fishing to get additional income. When we are out of rice, then my wife and I just eat taro” said Obestaf.
Obestaf and his wife have been active members of partners household that CDRM&CDS has facilitated to access health service from government. Recently they managed to get health insurance card from government. Obestaf told that they feel safer having access to health insurance. “Before having health insurance card I used to pay IDR 30,000 to IDR 50,000 for health check and medicine to Village Health Post and Sub-district Community Health Center (PUSKEMAS) as I suffer from TBC. It was very expensive for me. Most time when I felt sick, I used to refuse to see doctor as we didn’t have money. Thanks God in 2020 CDRM&CDS facilitated me and my wife to register and apply for health insurance from government and I finally got BPJS (health insurance) card in 2021. Now I have enjoyed free health services from government, I regularly check my health and get medicine for free from the PUSKESMAS and we really feel safer now with this insurance card. We thank CDRM&CDS and its donors to have facilitated us to access this public service. I do hope CDRM&CDS keeps on collaborating with communities and government”, said Obestaf to explain the benefit of having health insurance card for him and his wife and communities in Mentawai Islands.
Written by : Agustinus Nurianto Salaisek