Greetings from Sarawak – Dr. Shanaz
Hi there everyone!
This post has been long overdue since my move to Sarawak, but better late than never right? The year has been quite an adventure for me so far! What with the recent change of environment to Borneo, starting my career as a dental officer in the government service and the adapting to the working culture of a government servant. It’s been a great challenge and I’ve been loving every moment since.
Every morning, I count my blessings as I start my drive to my clinic. Look at that view!
Life here is peaceful, simple and overall serene. The air is fresher, the views are magnificent and the daily bustle of cars, traffic and countless traffic lights are no more. I’ve been stationed to a district called Sarikei, and placed specifically in a town called Bintangor, 15 minutes drive away from the main town of Sarikei. Bintangor is a lovely little town, with enough supermarkets and mini markets that will ensure you will never run out of daily supplies and necessities. Next to that, it has what everyone Malaysian town has… plenty of food stalls, kopitiams, eateries, restaurants and pop up stalls selling snacks. I quickly found out that Bintangor is most famous for its rojak and their local limau (mandarin oranges). Plus it’s so close to the jetty, we almost always get fresh produce from the local farms around the area (specifically vegetables, fruits and eggs). Honestly, all I’ve been doing other than work, is eat. I am truly blessed.
The best thing about being posted in Sarawak though, is the people. Countless times, I’ve heard only positive things about the people from Borneo, and they were so right. Everyone here is friendly. No matter your race, religion or colour, you’re treated as a peer. From day 1, all the people I’ve met have either offered me a ride, offered me a place to stay, invited me for lunch/dinner, help me look for houses to rent, and plenty more. There’s something about the hospitality from the people here that just makes you fall in love with the area. It’s no mystery why most Peninsular Malaysians who get posted here tend to stay for good.
My Klinik Pergigian is strategically placed at the entrance of Bintangor town. We get patients from the neighbouring villages surrounding Bintangor, Meradong, Sarikei and further places such as Julau, Sibu, Sg. Maong, Skim B and many others. The patient flow is of a healthy amount, thanks to the adjoining Klinik Kesihatan which have facilities for pregnant mothers, toddlers, old folks, patients needing physiotherapy and everyone in between. Cases are interesting, though the awareness of oral health and health in general is still lacking in the mass population of the Sarikei district. Many resort to extraction of teeth and demanding dentures (gigi palsu), instead of saving their natural teeth and looking after them.
Hopefully I will get to do my part in helping the people here and slowly educate them on the importance of oral health. These coming three weeks I shall be posted to a school as part of our dental outreach programme as each Klinik Pergigian has schools (as well as District Clinics) they will need to cover for the year.
I shall end this post with another picture of the many drives I get to enjoy in this beautiful state. If you do feel like contacting me for any dental questions/enquiries or even to give me pointers on what to do/eat in Sarawak, you can send in an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Until next time!