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Learn Planetary Health in Action at ASRI, Indonesia

Visiting ASRI was an experience that I will never forget. I came with the intention to learn more about tropical disease, but left with a more thorough understanding of planetary health and the connections between human and forest health. In the clinic environment, I certainly saw diseases such as Dengue fever and Tuberculosis which are much less common in the United States. It was great to learn about these from the local GPs who are used to managing these conditions. However, the most eye-opening and impactful portions of this experience laid in the education surrounding the social and environmental programs that ASRI has established. By providing a reliable and trustworthy center for human healthcare, ASRI has been successfully able to decrease logging and obtain hundreds to thousands of seedlings. We were able to visit places like the Orangutan Corridor where the reforestation efforts have been impressive and have led to the re-population of Orangutans. We were even able to see a Gibbon during our time when we visited Lubuk Baji. By strongly tying the health of the local human population to the population of non-human primates and plant species, it is clear that ASRI has improved not just the health of the local people and forest, but also the world.

Mahasiswa Amerika Belajar Planetary Health di Indonesia

 

Visiting ASRI is an experience that I will never forget. I came with the intention of learning more about tropical diseases, but upon returning I gained a more thorough understanding of planetary health and the relationship between human and forest health. In the clinic, I saw diseases such as dengue fever and Tuberculosis which are much less common in the United States. I am very happy to be able to learn about this from the doctors at the ASRI Clinic who are accustomed to treating these conditions. However, the most interesting and most impactful thing from this visit experience was the educational activities regarding social and environmental programs that had been carried out by ASRI. By providing quality and affordable health facilities, ASRI in collaboration with the local government has succeeded in reducing deforestation and obtaining hundreds to thousands of tree seedlings from patients who pay non-cash for their medical expenses. Apart from that, we can also visit places like the Orangutan Corridor which is a very impressive reforestation effort and has succeeded in restoring the Orangutan habitat. We even saw a gibbon when we visited Lubuk Baji. By connecting public health with natural health, ASRI not only improves the health of communities and forests, but also the world.

 

The article is written by:Shilpa Sridhar is a doctor and also student in the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center/Nationwide