Since 2005, travelers like you have helped us change the world through micro-donations.

  1. A total of

  2. donated
    (100% funded)

  3. to help improve

  4. impacting

  5. in

Project Background

SurfAid believes that Mother and Child Health can only be improved if basic health structures are in place and adequately equipped; if staff and volunteers are well trained, able and motivated to deliver appropriate health services; if mothers and caregivers understand and practice healthy behaviours and there is a positive environment to support these improved health behaviours.  

The natural entry point for the project is the community health post (Posyandu) and the community health volunteers (kaders) that work in them. Each sub-district has a basic public health centre (Puskesmas) that employs medically trained health professionals. Staff travel monthly to communities to deliver Posyandu services and are assisted by the kaders. 

With your support, we have been able to significantly improve the quality of the community health post services!

Training of the kaders encompasses a wide range of topics, including providing information on suitable nutrition to (expecting) mothers and young children, and recognising indicators for problematic pregnancies and malnourished children that function as an early warning. The kaders are provided with basic tools to conduct data collection (scales, measuring tapes, etc.). Additionally, the project provides training of health staff on methodologies for training the kaders, and also works closely with Puskesmas health staff to closely coordinate activities in the project’s target area.

Key Project Outcomes

  • Improved quality of 15 community health posts (Posyandu)
  • Trained 75 Health Volunteers (kaders)
  • Established 45 support groups within the community
  • Established hand-washing campaigns in 12 schools
  • 1,120 community members reached with creative health promotion campaigns

Project Overview

Better access to quality community health services (Posyandu)

The quality of Posyandu services has significantly improved, leading to better visiting rates and better health monitoring of pregnant women and children. Before the project, the Posyandu was only attended once in a while, and mainly for immunisation. Most of the kaders did not know not know how to measure children’s weight and height; how to record and monitor the information, and provide appropriate support to families.

Through Footprints funding, SurfAid together with the community health centre trained 75 kaders from 4 villages in Laboya Barat, West Sumba on facilitating basic health services in the Posyandu; how to conduct anthropometry, to plot the children’s nutritional status in the important growth monitoring chart and manage the Posyandu services. To improve the skills of kaders, SurfAid also coached them before and after the Posyandu services.

An average of 936 mothers of children under-five are now able to access the improved Posyandu services every month and enjoy the health promotion sessions from the kaders.

Every other month after the Posyandu service, the kaders also facilitate a cooking class to promote a healthy diet using local foods such as cassava, pumpkin, coconut and mung-bean. It is a fun way for mothers and caregivers to learn nutritious and delicious recipes, while practicing proper hand-washing and how to prepare foods. Given that an average traditional meal is a bowl of rice with some sugar or salt, the children really love the new recipes! With the cooking classes we are slowly changing the perception on what healthy food is, that it doesn’t have to be expensive if you use vegetables from your garden, and that vegetables are tasty! 

To create a positive environment to support the new knowledge and behaviour of the mothers, 45 support groups were established. These 420 parents and grandparents of children under-five are helping to change the community perception about child-caretaking so it becomes a family and community responsibility.

Health campaigns for the whole community

Next to the intensive coaching and sessions for mothers and care takers, SurfAid also delivered health campaigns through very popular movie sessions to more than 1,120 people. Mainstream movies were cut up and inserted with ‘commercial breaks’. The ‘commercial breaks’ are messages from community members themselves or short clips, on hand-washing, hygiene practices, early and exclusive breast feeding, and malaria prevention using insecticide treated malaria nets.

The simple act of hand washing with soap can reduce the number of sanitation related deaths by over 40 percent.

Campaigning and capacity building on hand-washing with soap are therefore important components of SurfAid’s health promotion activities. Basic activities included practicing hand washing with soap using buckets with a simple tap (as made available by SurfAid), or using tippy taps that can be easily be made by community members. The tippy tap is a hands free way to wash your hands that is especially appropriate for rural areas where there is no running water. It is operated by a foot lever, which reduces the chance for transmission of bacteria as the user touches only the soap. It is simple and efficient to create, requiring only sticks, rope and a container; and ensures a family has a hand-washing facility.

The hand-washing campaigns were delivered in 12 elementary schools reaching 600 students. Students are an effective agent of change to improve the hand-washing behaviour of family members at home.  Complementary to practicing with the tippy taps or jerry cans, games and comic books were used to get the children engaged and enthusiastic.

Can I visit this project?

Not at this time.

Traveling soon? When you buy travel insurance with us, you can make a contribution towards a cause you care about.

Get a quote