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There is a saying in humanitarian NGOs that the aid stops where the road stops, but that’s where SurfAid’s work begins.
Many people living in remote areas in Indonesia do not have access to basic public services, resulting in avoidable death and disease, especially among pregnant women and children under five. Geographical barriers also contribute to unacceptably high levels of malnutrition, diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections in children under five, which all have long term impacts on cognitive ability and economic productivity.
Indonesia is one of ten countries with the highest number of under-five deaths, and one of seven countries that account for over half of all maternal deaths worldwide. It is estimated that 70% of these deaths are preventable and that basic resources, including rudimentary health care, access to clean water, and improved nutrition, improve overall health.
SurfAid believes that mother and child health (MCH) can only be improved if basic health structures are in place and adequately equipped; that staff and volunteers are well trained, able and motivated to deliver appropriate health services; that mothers and caregivers understand and practice healthy behaviours and there is a positive environment to support and foster improved health behaviours.
The natural entry point for improving MCH in a community is through the community health post via community health volunteers.
SurfAid supports 25 community posts in 3 sub-districts in remote islands in Indonesia.
Each of the 3 sub districts have a public health centre that employs medically trained health professionals. The staff from these facilities are meant to visit remote communities monthly to deliver community health services, assisted by local community health volunteers. The community health posts focus on health issues relating to mothers, children and pregnant women.
There is a direct correlation between poor health post services and high levels of isolation and poverty, which SurfAid aims to remedy. Working to improve community health posts so that they provide the highest quality of services is SurfAid’s objective. In Indonesia, the government calls these posts 'Mandiri', with all community health clinics marked based on the quality of care being rendered.
To reach Mandiri level local community health volunteers need to be well-trained, the clinic must run monthly, meet quality standards, generate operational funds and provide ancillary services, such as feeding programs for undernourished children.
Training and coaching on mother and child health issues:
Training and coaching on health post management:
Two creative educational videos, brochures and games for training sessions:
Running small income generating activities:
This project will assist 25 individual community health posts, train 150 community health volunteers and reach 5,000 families.
The 25 groups of community members work together with the local health department to deliver health messages on nutrition, hygiene and sanitation to their neighbours, focusing on at-risk households. They are our front line, receiving ongoing training and support from SurfAid staff.
The health volunteers are community members, and live and work in the communities they serve.
SurfAid is implementing an overarching mother and child health program across remote villages in Indonesia, where simultaneous projects are targeting access to clean water and improved food security.
This project is one of many smaller projects that all contribute to supporting communities to become more independent.
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