IDEP Foundation

Anticipating the Nataru Holiday, AIHSP Supports the Bali Government Holds Inclusive COVID-19 Vaccination Services at Gilimanuk Port

Queuing situation at the Gilimanuk Port vaccination service post

BALI, 3 January 2022 – Since Bali tourism reopened for domestic and foreign tourists, tourist visits have continued to increase. Even though it is not as busy as before the COVID-19 pandemic, Bali still has an attraction for tourists, especially during the Christmas and New Year (Nataru) holidays which are currently taking place. The Governor of Bali, I Wayan Koster, in his statement (31/12), said that from January to 28 December 2022 yesterday, the number of domestic tourists counted 3.9 million people or 37.1 percent of the normal situation before COVID-19. Meanwhile, foreign tourists reached 2.3 million people, or 36.5 percent of the normal situation before the pandemic.

Even though the transmission rate for COVID-19 has tended to be slumping in recent times, the national vaccination achievements for doses 2, 3 (first booster), and dose 4 (second booster) are being attempted to reach more people, the Government of Bali re-enforces vaccination as a condition special trips for land travelers who will enter Bali. This was done as a step to anticipate the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in Bali, which is one of the main destinations for local tourists during the Nataru holidays.

These travel conditions apply from 24 December 2022 to 2 January 2023 at the Gilimanuk Crossing Port, Jembrana Regency. However, the Government also continues to swiftly provide vaccination centers at port entrances for travelers who have not been vaccinated through collaboration with a number of parties.

In order to support the Government’s anticipatory steps, the Australia Indonesia Partnership Program for Health Resilience (AIHSP) through Save the Children Indonesia and the IDEP Selaras Alam Foundation (IDEP) are working with various related parties to support the local Government in providing inclusive health and vaccination services for land travelers. Especially persons with disabilities, the elderly, and other vulnerable groups. The parties involved in this collaboration include the Jembrana Police and the Jembrana District Health Office (Dinkes).

The vaccination service at Gilimanuk Harbor is divided into two schedules, namely morning and evening. Each vaccination schedule is facilitated by a team of vaccinators from four Puskesmas, namely Jembrana 1 and 2 Health Centers and Melaya Health Centers 1 and 2.

The vaccination center, which is managed in collaboration with the Jembrana Health Office, is part of the Bali Province COVID-19 Inclusive Vaccination Acceleration Program (VACCINE Project) run by AIHSP, Save the Children, and IDEP. This inclusive vaccination program specifically targets vulnerable groups, especially the elderly, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups.

Regarding the latest achievements of the COVID-19 vaccination, I Wayan Widia, Head of Disease Prevention and Control at the Bali Provincial Health Office, emphasized that the second dose of vaccine had reached 98%. For booster vaccines, around 75% of people who are eligible to be vaccinated have reached about 75%. Of that percentage, around 71% have been vaccinated.

According to I Wayan Widia, one of the things that is of particular concern to the Government is the elderly group. “We need to encourage vaccines for the elderly, considering that the elderly are a group that needs protection from COVID-19. The only way is to get vaccinated. The Government has also issued a circular regarding priority vaccines for the elderly,” he explained.

For the elderly, he continued, the rate of booster vaccines is still low. This means that only around 5-7% of the elderly have been vaccinated,” concluded I Wayan Widia.

Met on different occasions, the Program Director of the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Health Resilience (AIHSP), John Leigh, stressed the importance of solid collaboration from various parties to ensure the success of efforts to equalize access to COVID-19 vaccinations and other health services in the future.

“In the future, the multi-stakeholder collaboration will be able to encourage other efforts to close disparities in access to health services, especially those that are more sensitive to the needs of vulnerable groups, towards a stronger Indonesian health resilience system.”

From July to December 2022, the COVID-19 vaccination carried out by AIHSP through Save the Children and IDEP achieved 9,861 injections, 582 of which were vaccinations carried out at the Nataru Post. By opening up more and more inclusive access and vaccine services, it is hoped that the VACCINE program will support the Government of Indonesia’s goals to improve the health resilience system and create a healthy society, including preventing the potential risk of transmission of COVID-19 during the year-end holidays.

Article: Edward Angimoy

Photo: Indra Kurniawan © IDEP Foundation