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Se7en Heroes: Andi Rabiah (part II)

>> Wednesday, June 29, 2011



Replacing Witch Doctor

It is not easy job for Andi Rabiah, she struggle not only with ocean, but also with some locals. Some of the locals still believe in witch doctor. Many times, she was rejected by locals. However, she doesn't give up to give her sincere and best service.

"I have ever called by someone to cure a treat a patient on a small island. By the time I got there, the patient refused me. so, how am I supposed to do?" said Andi Rabiah. She wasn't bore to introduce herself and her duty among locals. Slowly, but sure, with her magnificent patience, locals began aware. They began realize the importance of medical treatment.


By this point, Andi Rabiah's duty is getting hard and complicated. "Floating Nurse" always prepared for 24 hours a day to serve any patients who need her. From one island to another, by motor boat or row boat, she must across ocean more than a day. sometimes she struggling with big wave and storm. She come to anyone who need her help.


Alone, "Floating Nurse" successfully replace sacred position of witch doctor in the societies. Almost everyday, she picked by patient's relative from Sapuka to antoher island with motor boat or row boat. Sometimes, she must stay for days in patient's home. Andi Rabiah said "For me, it pointless if I cam there but didn't get any results".


Andi Rabiah wants to be a nurse when she was a kid. But, she didn't expect to become a " Floating Nurse". With a simple boat, for more than thirty years, this mother of four has been crossing the sea from one island to another. Her work area covered are on district and four village spread on 25 island on the border Flores Sea, Java Sea and Makassar Straits.

If the patient must be refer to the nearest hospital, Andi Rabiah assist the patient a long the journey. Patient who lives on western islands will be refer to Sumbawa or Lombok (NTB) and it'll take six hours. While patient who leaves on eastern island will be refer to Makassar which needs a day and a night to sail the sea with a small boat.


Andi Rabiah often meet a condition where she must serve a critical patient in a bad weather. If the patient cannot be refer to the nearest clinic. Andi Rabiah must face the unfriendly situation.Using a small boat, which also not decent enough, she couldn't stop praying a long the journey.


" It's hard to refer a patient to Pangkep, we have to go to Makassar. Besides, the journey takes more than 26 hours. I feel pity for patients from remote island who must be referred there. Most of them didn't familiar with the place and route. they don't know where to buy the medicine after getting the prescription. So, I have to assist them" Said "Floating Nurse" sincerely.


After floating for hours, with her patient, she continue her journey to hospital by public transportation or get a ride on a truck.Her families disagree is she stayed in Sapuka. Moreover, they assume that her husband was passed away by some sort of black magic which done by the local. But, she did not withdrawn. She still serve and struggle. It is her principle: go forward undettered and never give up even for a second.


(to be continue....)

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