Endah: The Present Kartini Figure Dedicated to Community
As COVID-19 continues to affect people around the world, governments are calling for widespread education across all levels of society about the dangers of and prevention of the virus.
In Indonesia, one way this is being done is through Posyandu (mother and children healthcare centres) and Puskesmas (government-mandated community health clinics) which are located across the country.
Posyandu workers, along with Puskesmas healthcare workers, are doing their part to remind the community about the vital need to practice good hygiene. They visit communities to educate them (while practising social distancing and proper sanitisation), and also hold scheduled socialisation classes about COVID-19 for members of the community who want to get more information.
Endah Dwi Saputri works at the Posyandu in Pangkalan Kerinci, which Asia Pacific Rayon (APR) partners. As a trained nutritionist, Endah Dwi Saputri typically talks to expectant mothers at the Posyandu about the pre-natal diets they should be following, as well as parents about the best for babies and toddlers for optimal development.
However, Endah is now also helping to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, as she is among the Posyandu cadres in Pelalawan who voluntarily spends time each day to advocate the importance of washing hands with soap and using face masks in combatting the virus to the community in Pangkalan Kerinci.
“I’m spending more time at work to help educate the community about the coronavirus. But I don’t think now is the time to be selfish, people need to know this information, and those of us who can help them know this information should help,” she said.
Her background means that Endah is also focused on educating people about the need to also keep immune systems strong through healthy diets.
“The intake of nutritious food has always been important for the body to stay strong – and more than ever during this time,” said Endah, whose work was recognised with several nutritionist awards at the provincial and the national levels in 2019.
In the spirit of Kartini Day, Endah said she is glad for the absence of gender difference when it comes to working in the health sector.
“The disease doesn’t care if you’re female or male. Likewise, being female or male shouldn’t even be a in factor in helping to educate people about health – all that matters is you have the right knowledge and facts,” she said.
APR is currently partnering with provincial and district health officials to support front line efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19, including Posyandu and Puskesmas in Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau, Indonesia.