The hidden crisis: Inadequate housing and insufficient healthcare in Bali

Known for its stunning landscapes and cultural richness, Bali attracts millions of visitors yearly. But behind the tourist façade of the tropical island hides a lesser-known reality, as many of its population struggle with inadequate housing and lack of access to healthcare services.

In this blog, we seek to understand the impact of these two challenges on underprivileged communities in Bali and their deep link.

While the island is popular for its luxurious villas and beachfront resorts, poor housing conditions are a harsh reality for many Balinese families, especially in remote areas. The shortage of proper sanitation, limited access to clean water, and inadequate living space can contribute to the spread of diseases and affect overall well-being. Furthermore, the lack of solid housing exposes vulnerable individuals to the risk of homelessness due to a natural disaster such as an earthquake, forcing them to live in constant uncertainty.

The link between inadequate housing and poor health is undeniable. Poor housing conditions can lead to various health issues, including respiratory problems, skin infections, and mental health disorders. Mould, dampness, and poor ventilation in overcrowded spaces contribute to the prevalence of respiratory ailments, while unhygienic living conditions increase the risk of infectious diseases.

While healthcare should be a basic right for every human being, it feels like a luxury for many Balinese. Public healthcare facilities are often overburdened and may struggle to provide quality care due to resource constraints and limited financial resources.

Moreso, the remote nature of some rural communities makes it challenging for many residents in Bali to access services. Factors such as geographic location and transportation limitations create barriers preventing individuals from seeking medical attention. This is particularly problematic for individuals requiring specialized care or emergency treatment, as delays can have dire consequences for their health and well-being. Without proper medical care, preventable illnesses become chronic and debilitating, affecting an individual’s productivity and ability to escape the cycle of poverty.

Limited access to decent healthcare and employment opportunities in remote communities make it difficult for some Balinese to escape the poverty cycle, and the resulting financial constraints often restrict their ability to prioritize health-related expenses.

Additionally, the lack of health education and awareness within these communities hinders the prevention and management of diseases. During the pandemic, Volunteer Programs Forever offered health classes through the Forever Learning Centres to raise awareness and educated communities about disease prevention and hygiene practices. By empowering individuals with knowledge, such preventive healthcare measures reduce the burden on the healthcare system in the long run.

The link between inadequate housing and lack of healthcare in underprivileged communities in Bali creates a big challenge. Improving housing conditions is an essential step toward breaking the poverty cycle and enhancing the well-being of marginalized individuals. By addressing the issue with a comprehensive and collaborative approach through our Soul Projects, Volunteer Programs Forever works towards creating a brighter future for Bali’s most vulnerable populations.