Rantau Pandjang

The Bataafsche Petroleum Maatschappij (BPM) had its own central hospital at Rantau Pandjang on the Eastcoast of Sumatra (J. Kreemer, Atjeh I). It was a general hospital, established in 1918 in the hospital ressort Tandjong Poera.  In this same hospital ressort  two other BPM hospitals are found, one at Pangkalan Brandan and one at Perlak. In the hospital at Rantau Pandjang the sick coolies of the Perlang Company are also treated. In 1929 there were 3,019 indentured labourers, of whom 13 died in that year (4.31 %).

From: Watson, Sanitation in the tropics, 80-81: “We then motored to Rantau Pandjang where dr. Schüffner had found much malaria among the natives. It is about 10 miles from Tandjong Morawa. For the first part of the road we were onland similar to that with which I was now familiar, namely, red, light yellow, or white soil, with the groundwater 15 to 20 feet below the surface. Then we came to a part which was, from its vegetation, evidently a swamp in wet weather. At that time it was dry, but the groundwater stood only a foot below the surface. No big jungle could be seen, the land being covered by secundart jungle about 30 feet high. A creek along which the road was tidal, but the water was fresh. In a pool we got several large black larvae, which had frontal tufts like A. sinensis or A. barbirostris. Continuing for anothermile or so, we came to Rantau Pandjang, a considerable village. Dr. Schüffner was evidently well known in it, and a welcome visitor. A number of children were at once brought for examination, but he observed one could not be sure the sick were brought, and such an examination wasliable to give unduly favourable results. …………We went from house to house until we had examined thirty children. Of these ten (33 %) had enlarged spleen. Crossing a branch of the main creek on a doubtful looking bridge we walked about a mile to a fishing village on the sea, called Bagan Serdang. ……Of eleven children two had enlarged spleen (18 %). We could find no Anopheles’breeding places. Thus in Rantau Pandjang and Bagan Serdang there was clear evidence of endemic malaria, in confirmation of dr. S. statement. And with the history of Belawan, before alluded to, there can be little doubt this low-lying parts of the coast is malarious, just as it is in the Malay Paninsula.”