Report of Rapid Health Assessment
Ensuring sustainability of essential health services for children and mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia
The Ministry of Health (MOH) in Indonesia, with technical support from UNICEF, conducted a rapid assessment at different levels of the health system to have a better understanding the effects of COVID-19 on maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) services. The aim of this exercise was to identify gaps, gather perceptions of health workers, prepare for the resumption and safe scale up of MNCH activities, and tailor interventions to reach vulnerable communities.
From April-May 2020, a total of 2,740 puskesmas (health center) participated in the online survey with a completion rate of 86%, covering all 34 provinces in the country.
The survey found that 75% village health posts (‘posyandu’) were closed and over 41% home visits were suspended. Nearly 86% of posyandus reported suspension of child growth and development monitoring, 55% reported a suspension of immunization services and 46% reported a disruption of Vitamin A distribution and similarly 46% reported suspension of antenatal care services.
The main reasons stated for suspension of services included community safety concerns as well as physical distancing measures and health workers’ anxiety.
Building on these findings, MOH, with support from partners including UNICEF, is working to ensure sustainability of essential health service for mothers and children during COVID-19 pandemic. This includes development of relevant guidelines and health education materials as well as capacity building for health workers.