21 June 2021

Protecting children from the most-deadly infectious disease in Indonesia

Lombok, Indonesia – Ayu Arini woke to the sound of her 11-month-old daughter wheezing and breathing rapidly. “Nada had been sick for a few days, so I gave her fever medicine. But when I saw she had a hard time breathing, I got really worried and rushed her to the community health clinic,” says the mother of two. Nada was diagnosed with pneumonia…, Help arrives, Lombok is the site of a PCV demonstration programme that launched in 2017.  Recently, a new batch of PCV arrived on the island as part of a Ministry of Health scale-up strategy. The vaccines are part of the Gavi Advanced Market Commitment mechanism, which gives countries like Indonesia the ability to buy life-saving vaccines at greatly reduced…, Despite COVID, The programme hasn’t been without a few bumps in the road. The COVID-19 pandemic led to smaller health facilities being closed while physical distancing protocols meant large numbers of parents and children could not gather at the health centres. “Parents were also worried they would catch COVID if they came to the health centres. So many avoided…, Protecting all children, Next year, PCV vaccination will be phased in across the country as part of Indonesia’s routine immunization programme. The aim is to protect more than four million children every year against pneumonia and that means children need to get three doses of PCV – first at around two months, then at three and 12 months. A “catch up” strategy is used for…
18 June 2020

Safe Sanitation for Feby

"When Feby was ill with diarrhoea AND typhoid fever, I knew we needed to have a latrine ASAP. But we couldn’t afford it. The family income was barely enough for our daily needs." Sri, Feby’s mother. So Sri recounts her family’s ordeal while walking through a narrow alley that leads to their home. With her is her 9-year-old daughter, Feby. Their…, Open defecation in Indonesia, Open defecation is detrimental to public health. Together with poor hygiene practices, it has contributed significantly to child mortality, undernutrition and stunting, and can potentially affect cognitive development. According to a recent UNICEF report, more than 20 million people in Indonesia still practice open defecation, making it among the…, The Stop Open Defecation Campaign, Both Sri and her husband, Suryatul Handi, work as farm labourers. Their daily wages are only enough for food, soap, and other basic needs. A toilet facility would cost them a fortune, let alone one with a drinking water pipe connected to their home. “I used to defecate in the sewer. Then I got diarrhoea and felt weak and dizzy. I don’t want to…, The challenges of building and maintaining safe sanitation, However, the new latrine facilities only partially address the risk of contracting diarrhea again. Around Feby lurks another threat just as harmful—namely the unsafe disposal of untreated faecal waste. According to a recent World Bank study, approximately 95 percent of faecal waste in Indonesia is untreated and not disposed into proper treatment…, Toward a Safely Managed Wastewater Treatment Installation, Since merely ensuring that more people have toilets in their homes is not enough to address the sustainable safe sanitation agenda, UNICEF has been working closely with Badan Amil Zakat Nasional (BAZNAS) to take the existing programmes to a higher level: this time by creating a detailed work plan for a Safely Managed Wastewater Treatment…, How You Can Help, Thanks to the generous contributions of individual donors, UNICEF has been able to work with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) experts and workers across Indonesia to make community-based total sanitation (STBM) a reality. But the path to safe sanitation is a long and complex one, and much still needs to be done. For this we need your support.…
29 January 2020

The Right to Breathe: Reducing Pneumonia in Children

Looking at the sweet, chubby-cheeked boy nestling contentedly in the arms of his mother, you would never have guessed that he is not healthy. “Septian has pneumonia,” says the boy’s mother, Baiq Yuliati. “He’s been admitted to the hospital three times, and the last time was so severe he had to stay for a few days,” says his mother, Baiq Yuliati.…, Pneumonia: The Number One Killer of Children, In the last two decades, Indonesia has made significant public health gains, chiefly a steady reduction of children’s mortality and a vastly improved immunization programme. This includes the government’s most recent procurement, via UNICEF, of the first 1.6 million doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV). The doses are part of a multi-year…, Toxic environment, A common thread running through most of the pneumonia cases found by UNICEF is the toxic environment in which the children live. Septian’s house, recently rebuilt with government assistance after the Lombok earthquake, is flanked by two tobacco-curing facilities where Septian’s father, a tobacco farmer, labors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, during…, UNICEF-supported initiatives, Over the years, UNICEF has been assisting the provincial government in boosting public health services for children, especially in the aftermath of the Lombok earthquake. The effort is focused on immunization, nutrition, family monitoring of major childhood illnesses, and improving the biggest systemic problem—unequal distribution of health…, How You Can Help, Thanks to the generous contributions of individual donors, UNICEF has been able to work with hospitals, health centres, health ministry officials and medical workers across Indonesia to help reduce children’s vulnerability to pneumonia and other preventable illnesses. With increased capacity, we could have helped prevent children like Septian,…
01 February 2019

Menstruation in The Time of Emergencies

The day a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Lombok, 14-year-old Kadek Ariasti Widhiari was having her period. In what she describes as one of the hardest months of her life, she and her family were forced to leave everything behind and find refuge in a temporary shelter. “All the while, I was trying to cope with the menstrual…, Taboos and superstitions, According to Stefani Rahardini, the UNICEF facilitator presiding over the discussions, most of the girls have a relatively good knowledge about menstruation, but it is their impractical habits that have become barriers to attending school. “It’s hard enough for parents to send their kids back to school, with fear of aftershocks still hanging over…, Scaling up WASH facilities in earthquake-affected schools, In the wake of the earthquake, UNICEF—in partnership with the government and the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association (PKBI)—launched a series of emergency response. An integral part of it was the provision of physical facilities such as temporary toilets and waste bins and the distribution of hygiene and dignity kits such as soap, towels and…, Helping girls overcome their inhibitions, Another important part of the UNICEF-led emergency response was public education on menstrual hygiene. By engaging schools, health clinics, the local health office and community volunteers, girls were encouraged to return to school and feel good about themselves and their bodies.  , Bullying and lack of openness, One of the biggest hurdles in the awareness-raising process, according to Stefani, is the lack of openness between female students and their female teachers. “It’s not something students will go to a female teacher about, let alone a male teacher,” she says. “Problem is, many female teachers aren’t even aware that many students are struggling with…, How You Can Help, Thanks to the generous contributions of individual donors, UNICEF has been able to work with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) workers and officials across Indonesia to support families and girls’ needs during emergencies such as natural disasters. Yet better understanding and practice of menstrual hygiene management depends on raising the…