“Let’s end malaria for good”! says Australia Awards recipient Sinndy Maria
July 15, 2016

Health worker and Australia Awards recipient Sinndy Maria (Ndit) from Kartini Hospital in Indonesia's Nusa Tenggara Timur Province is on a mission to end malaria for good in her home region.

When Indonesian health worker Sinndy Maria (Ndit) applied last November to attend an Australia Awards short course on malaria prevention, she thought she'd missed out.
"After two weeks, there was no email or call. So, I assumed I failed. Well, two days before Christmas... I got an email from Australia Awards Indonesia telling me I got a scholarship to go to the course. Yayyneeeessss. Thanks to God, God is so good!" Ndit said. 
Ndit, who works at Kartini Hospital in Indonesia's Nusa Tenggara Timur Province, has " a passion to fight against malaria" in her home region, which spans 500 islands in the eastern part of the Lesser Sunda Islands and includes West Timor.
She was one of 24 Indonesian medical professionals and health workers who graduated in April this year from the Australia Awards short course—Malaria Prevention and Treatment for Infants, Children and Pregnant Women in Eastern Indonesia. 
Not only did Ndit learn a lot, she and her fellow participants enjoyed their time together living in Melbourne, where the course was held.   
"We didn't only learn about malaria itself, but we also learned how to engage with other sectors and how to build networks.  We learned how we can eliminate malaria using horizontal or vertical approaches, and we divided into teams to work on a malaria project which will be implemented in East Nusa Tenggara," she said.
Over three weeks from 4-22 April, the course focused on practical ways to prevent, identify and treat malaria in pregnant women, infants and children. Malaria remains a leading cause of maternal and neonatal mortality in eastern Indonesia.
The course was delivered by the Nossal Institute for Global Health at Melbourne University,  in partnership with the Burnet Institute, the Menzies School of Health Research (Charles Darwin University), and Thailand’s Mahidol University.
Ndit was full of praise for her fellow-participants, the course organisers,  and its facilitator and lecturers. "It was the first time I met these 23 inspiring, humble, creative, idealistic people and also the most incredible facilitator I've ever known. Her name is Lisa and she always came up with such a creative idea to open up our mind to see things from different point of view. I learned so much from her", she said.
"We weren't only studying, we also had some fun,” said Ndit. There was time for a tour of inner Melbourne and a break to explore other parts of Victoria. "We had an amazing journey to the Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles, and we saw the iconic koala," said Ndit.
She was inspired by her fellow-participants on the course who are now friends and partners in the fight against malaria. "I'm so blessed knowing you guys, keep up the good work, and let’s end malaria for good!" she said.
She has this advice for other professionals in Indonesia who want to study and get overseas training in their speciality fields. "What are you waiting for, go to http://www.australiaawardsindonesia.org/ and find out this opportunity. Nothing is impossible, just try and do your best, and good luck, mates!"
Read Ndit’s Facebook post on her experiences at the Australia Awards malaria prevention short course at Melbourne University.
Last updated: July 15, 2016