SurfAid was started by a group of concerned surfers in 2000 who were struck by the needless suffering and preventable death in the Mentawai Islands. Today SurfAid is proud that more than 95 per cent of their program staff are Indonesian nationals who work hand-in-hand with the communities in the Mentawai and Nias islands, off Indonesia's Sumatran coast, to bring about positive, sustainable health change while respecting the unique culture and customs of the islands. MDF is proud to assist SurfAid with medical diagnostic equipment to help them achieve their goals.
In the Mentawai and Nias where SurfAid works, more than 70 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line and they have shocking health figures. Surfaid runs its programs in the Mentawai Islands, 150km off Indonesia's West Sumatran coast, and Nias Island, 125km off the North Sumatran Coast. The local people in this isolated and unique island chain face many life-threatening challenges, with diseases such as acute respiratory infection, diarrhoea and malaria, and birth complications, taking a serious toll. Malnutrition is an everyday reality for both children and adults and natural disasters in the form of tsunami and earthquake add to the challenge of improving the health and wellbeing of the village communities.
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