Across Indonesia, the Posyandu, a community-run facility supporting maternal and child health, is a vital service where more formal medical clinics are not available.
The necessary closure of Posyandu to reduce the risk of patients contracting COVID-19 – which happened between April and June – made monitoring infant and child growth challenging. The decision also increased parents’ fears of going to any health facility, and uptake upon the facility’s reopening was lower than usual.
In collaboration with the Palu City Health Office, the iREACH project developed a new Standard Operating Procedure for Posyandu, addressing the additional pressures of the Coronavirus pandemic.
It aimed to address the anxiety of parents and community health volunteers around growth monitoring and ensure these centres remain safe through preventive measures.
As the volunteers were trained in these procedures, they began to reactivate the service, equipped with infrared thermometers, masks and handwashing facilities.
When Mrs. Rospiah, a local mother, heard through the mosque’s loudspeakers that the Posyandu would re-open, she was overjoyed.
The announcement also provided information about the health protocols that should be followed when attending sessions at the facility. Knowing what to do made her more confident about the safety of this vital service.
“Since the beginning of Posyandu's re-opening in July, we have been advised by community health volunteers to keep our distance, wear masks and wash our hands before entering Posyandu,” Mrs Rosphiah told us.
“They also provided seats outside while waiting for our queue number,” she adds.
I am also very grateful that World Vision gave us masks, a bucket and soap at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though it doesn’t seem like much, it really helped my family.