IDEP Foundation

COVID-19 Vaccination Program for All Towards Public Health Resilience: Appreciation and Learning from the VACCINE and TRACE Programs in Bali June 2022 – May 2023

All parties involved in the VACCINE & TRACE program

It has been more than two years since COVID-19 has become a pandemic at the world level, even having an impact on Indonesia. These conditions affect public health, slow down the pace of economic activity, change classrooms in the world of education, and have many implications for other sectors. Every effort is made to optimize the control of COVID-19 so that we can carry out activities as usual immediately.

The Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Health Resilience (AIHSP) through Save the Children Indonesia and the IDEP Foundation also support the government in accelerating inclusive COVID-19 vaccination for vulnerable groups in Bali Province. From June 2022 to May 2023, this program focuses on protecting the people of Bali, especially the vulnerable and underserved groups, in the face of the ongoing global pandemic.

There is also support from many parties who have contributed significantly, namely the Health Office, the Regional Development Planning Agency (Bappeda), the Bali Province Social Service, Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, the Youth and Sports Education Office, and City District Health Office. Health workers always on standby are also present from the public health center, hospitals, and clinics in eight districts in the province of Bali.

During the implementation period from June 2022 to May 2023, the Inclusive COVID-19 Vaccination (VACCINE) program has succeeded in reaching a total of 43,836 beneficiaries in eight districts in the Province of Bali to get the COVID-19 vaccine, both from the first vaccine to the second booster vaccine. Of these, there are 14,073 older people and at least 1,094 persons with disabilities. There are also several other vulnerable groups in society, such as 22 PLWHA, 2,069 minority groups, 5,923 remote area communities, 63 people with comorbidities, two female heads of households, 21 migrant workers, 16,819 members of pre-prosperous families, and 1,287 prison inmates.

Collaboration with the local government is often carried out to ensure equal vaccination access for all Balinese people. This effort is carried out through various strategies:

  1. Create vaccination centers and door-to-door to make it easier for beneficiaries whose locations are difficult to reach or who experience problems with their mobility.
  2. Attention to the issues of gender equality, disability, and social inclusion (GEDSI) is also sought through various approaches to various disability communities and training related to this. Data entry in this program even involved one of the disability communities, namely the Cahaya Mutiara Foundation, which began on 26 January 2023.
  3. This collaboration program also involved the Indonesian Blind Association (Pertuni) and the Indonesian Deaf Welfare Movement (GERKATIN) so that the inclusive promotion of social inclusion related to inclusive vaccination could be followed by groups of persons with disabilities more broadly.

Award charter given to the Disease Prevention and Control Services

The information strategy is also visible through risk communication and community involvement (RCCE), which can be seen in the local theatrical entertainment activities that the Balinese people, namely Bondres, favor. Bondres performed ten times in three regencies: Jembrana, Buleleng, and Karangasem. The aim is to inform the public about the benefits of an inclusive COVID-19 vaccination and identify rumors (HOAX) around this. A safe room for children is also offered during the event to ensure that children are protected from cigarette smoke.

Implementing of an inclusive vaccination program for the community has become more effective through collaboration with local health workers, volunteers, and Agents of Change (AOC) in supporting the performance of the COVID-19 vaccination. This collaboration also seeks to increase public awareness by providing accurate and easy-to-understand information about COVID-19 vaccination to the people of Bali (TRACE). These steps have helped reduce anxiety and build confidence in understanding the COVID-19 vaccination.

Certificate of appreciation given to Agents of Change

This program was initially implemented in three regencies in Bali: Buleleng, Jembrana, and Karangasem. However, since December 2022, it has reached various other areas in the Province of Bali. All achievements in this program have involved at least 100 volunteers and AOC, 40 organizational partners, and 78 health centers and hospitals spread across eight districts of Bali Province. In supporting access to the broader community, several things were included, namely at least 800 SBCC products (Posters, Audio Public Service Announcements, and Index Cards), 4,268 RCCE (IKAP and KAK) with four pieces of training attended by 454 participants.

Certificate of appreciation given to groups of persons with disabilities

This program, carried out with various parties, has contributed to the achievements of the vaccination program for the province of Bali, especially those targeting older people, persons with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups. With such accomplishments and contributions, this program wants to thank all parties who have participated and supported it. This appreciation event was held on 30 May 2023 at 09.00 WITA at The Vasini Smart Boutique Hotel.

In particular, the award ceremony was given to districts and health centers that have been successful in helping to achieve COVID-19 vaccination. In the VACCINE program, Buleleng district earned the highest COVID-19 vaccination achievement for 11 months with more than 14,500 vaccine injections, followed by Jembrana and Karangasem. This award is a form of appreciation for supporting public health resilience.

“Today, the happiest is that we, the local government of the Province of Bali, through the Bali Province COVID-19 Handling Task Force. AIHSP, Save the Children, and IDEP Foundation have shown their commitment and consistency in supporting efforts to accelerate the achievement of COVID-19 vaccination,” said Made Rentin, Secretary of the Bali Province COVID-19 Handling Task Force.

As the Acting Project Manager for VACCINE and TRACE from Save the Children, Roby Lay complements this. Collaboration with other parties is essential, especially in reaching remote areas.

“For us, this is part of the various lessons learned in the two programs we carry out, namely VACCINE and TRACE. We have been trying to do something based on the motto: Wanting to reach the unreachable in a meaningful and dignified way has become evident in the two programs we have carried out, especially for Bali.”

As the Deputy Director of the AIHSP Program, Emer Purdon speech about the program’s achievements in Bali

The events of the day were fun. The round table was full, and most invited parties took their time to come. As the Deputy Director of the AIHSP Program, Emer Purdon was also seen sitting in the front seat, enjoying the whole series of events.

“AIHSP works here in Bali, as well as in four other provinces in Indonesia, and one of the areas of our work has been working with the Indonesian government. In relation to this program, we have provided Save the Children with funding from the AIHSP on behalf of the Australian government to support reaching in Bali and our other provinces of Indonesia to ensure the extent of the vaccine. So the vaccination coverage can be maximized.”

The awarding of an award certificate, as the core of the event, is projected for all parties involved to be more enthusiastic about providing other health services for the people of Bali. Hopefully, the health services for the people of Bali can be of higher quality and more evenly distributed.

The main event was carried out until noon and continued with lunch together. Afterward, we were presented with performances from various parties who had collaborated in the program. I Nyoman Juniarta (Bli Jigo) and one of his friends performed songs from the 1980s-2000s in an acoustic format. You can see happiness on the faces of everyone in the room.

We were amazed when the last song, “Kemesraan,” got the whole room to sing along—followed by a traditional dance performance from the Sekar Dewata Art Studio, before proceeding to I Nyoman Bawa (Bli Bawa) from Pertuni with his beautiful keyboard playing.

Bli Bawa asked us, “What song do you want to request?” everyone in the south answered, “Madu dan Racun!”

The songs that are sung bring us a nostalgic feel of the ’90s era. This series of simple entertainment was able to seal the program’s closing event. However, we certainly have our activities and busyness, but we hope we can meet again one day like that.

Article: Nicolaus Sulistyo

Photo: Michael Nirwan Kurniadi © IDEP Foundation