While the Peninsular is blessed with a decent public transport system and health facilities, our fellow Malaysians from East Malaysia were not that lucky. Some had to travel hundreds of kilometres to the city just to visit the doctor.
Unfortunately, a 9-month-old baby in Sarawak lost his life while en route to seek medical treatment in the state’s capital — Kuching.
In a heartbreaking video posted by Facebook user Jessa Bandang, it showed a mother cradling her lifeless baby while kissing his forehead.
According to Sinar Plus, the mother was bringing her ailing 9-month-old baby from the small town of Julau in Sarawak to a hospital in Kuching, where the journey takes 6 hours, to receive treatment.
However, when they stop along the way at a rest stop in Jelukong, the mother discovered that her baby stopped breathing. The cause of the baby’s death remain unknown as at the time of writing.
It was reported that the mother boarded an express bus and began her journey from the village of Pekan Julau to the state capital, which spanned a distance of 395 kilometers.
A longhouse chief who was at the scene then offered to bring the mother and her deceased child to a medical centre in Betong and gave her RM300 for her travel fare back to her village.
Lack of hospitals in Julau
According to Utusan Borneo, as of 2020, Julau did not have its own hospital and the nearest specialist hospital is located in the neighbouring town of Sarikei, which is about a 50-minute drive away.Ju
The video has since gone viral on social media, with many netizens expressing condolences and sympathy to the mother who had to endure this painful moment.
“Rest in peace baby. I feel saddened looking at the mother. She looks so calm. Stay strong sister, God loves your child more. I understand that feeling of loss well,” a netizen wrote.
Here are our deepest condolences to the mother. At the same time, we hope that the authorities will look into the accessibility to healthcare for the residents in Julau.