Our Story

About Us

The mission of Health Access Sumbawa (HAS) is to improve the health of the people  in remote coastal communities of Sumbawa, an island  in Eastern Indonesia.  HAS believes that good health should not stop at the end of the road.

Global NGO’s and national governments have great difficulty delivering services that last mile where the most vulnerable people actually live. Economic and social development is stunted while thousands of villagers living in off-the-grid communities suffer year after year from treatable or preventable diseases. Health Access Sumbawa focuses on this unmet need: strengthening health infrastructure at the roots.


American Jack Kennedy was on holiday in Bali when he first went to Sumbawa. Traveling by small boat, Jack and a friend explored several remote coastal communities. The people in this roadless region  live mostly self-sufficient lives with no running water, no toilets, no shops and no regular access to health services. 

Shortly after returning home to Maine, Jack was hospitalized with malaria.  He received first-rate medical treatment and recovered, but realized that the outcome for Sumbawa villagers would be far different.  

Effective anti-malarial drugs supplied by The Global Fund sit in boxes at the regional hospital while just over the mountain pregnant mothers and their children needlessly suffer repeated bouts of malaria during the rainy season. In such communities some 20% of children either die from malaria or are permanently disabled by it before reaching the age of 10. As a result, economic and social development are stunted. 

This realization became a call to action. Jack partnered with friends Pete Skinner and Donna Flynn and Health Access Sumbawa was born. 

Malaria Control- Progress to Date 

Today Health Access Sumbawa is making a real difference in the lives of 1,000 people. Everyone in Sili, Panubu, and Maci villages now sleeps under safe insecticide treated bed nets. A HAS funded village clinic & laboratory completed in 2017 is staffed by health workers who have become WHO certified malaria microscopists. The medical team systematically tests everyone in the valley for malaria, and treats all positive cases. The goal of controlling malaria on this coastline is now a reality.

Scaling Up Our Clinical Success

Our next goal is to scale up geographically so we can serve  people living in adjacent villages. We have also expanded the scope of  our health services to include nursing level primary health care. HAS nurses travel to neighboring villages weekly to run mobile clinics. In this way we provide outreach services while we monitor the population for malaria to prevent new outbreaks.

A Broader Community Development Program

Having successfully controlled malaria in our service area by November, 2017, HAS broadened its mission to include access to basic health care, adequate nutrition, clean water, public toilets and environmental programs. In keeping with these goals, HAS build a health clinic with laboratory, dug  new wells, introduced filters for safe drinking water, installed the first running water and first toilet in Sili village, built a community toilet/bath house, and organized  community gardens on the clinic grounds in order to supplement villagers' diets. Our work is guided by a few key principles.

Guiding Principles 

* Village participation in decision making is vital to the success of HAS programs. Most field work, such as taking a village census or hanging bed nets in homes, planting trees or building a public toilet/bath house, is done by village residents.  HAS supplies the money, technology, training, and on-site management. Villagers themselves actually implement the programs.

 *  HAS employs experienced Indonesian managers/trainers who live with the people.  The goal is to identify and develop community- based leaders. Leadership  from the bottom allows HAS to deliver high quality services that last mile, at the village level, where most top-down systems fail.

*  Every program incorporates the goal of sustainability.  Permanent progress will  be possible if we plan for eventual  self-sufficiency.  We do not want our projects to be dependent on foreign assistance forever. 

* Deep involvement over the long term. HAS intends to stay deeply involved with these communities over a long period of time (a decade or more). This allows HAS to have a long term vision, to support projects which take years to accomplish,  such as developing nut orchards and other permaculture enterprises.

HAS Strategic Goals 

 * Become a leading force driving malaria control,  with programs  focused on central Sumbawa.

 * Improve access to clean water, sanitation facilities, and primary health care, especially for mothers and children in remote communities.

 * Protect the waters of Cempi Bay from plastic waste by supporting effective waste recycling systems.

 * Increase farm incomes & improve children's diet with sustainable agriculture.