IDEP Foundation

Open Access to COVID-19 Vaccination for Disabilities, AIHSP Holds Centers at Four Special Schools in Bali

Lately, the trend of COVID-19 has been sluggish. However, vigilance and anticipation of this virus must still be a shared priority because the ability to mutate this virus is still a severe threat—spokesperson for the Indonesian Ministry of Health (Kemenkes) Dr. Mohammad Syahril, on 17 April 2023, said the Arcturus or Omicron XBB 1.16 subvariant increased to 5 additional cases, bringing the total to 7 instances.

To support anticipation of the spread of COVID-19 and increase inclusive vaccination coverage, the Australia Indonesia Partnership Program for Health Resilience (AIHSP) through Save the Children Indonesia and Yayasan IDEP held vaccination activities in different locations for two consecutive days. The priority is for groups of people with disabilities, although the general public can still access these services.

COVID-19 vaccination activity at SLB Negeri 2 Denpasar

This vaccination is implemented in collaboration with various parties from Special Education School (SLB) in the Province of Bali. That vaccination activity continues at the vaccination center, previously held at SLB Negeri 2 Denpasar, reaching 84 people receiving the vaccination.

“The greatest hope for all of these children is always to be healthy and to obtain the highest possible happiness in the sense of being able to adapt in all things and be independent to meet their life needs based on their wishes. Another great hope is that society will provide space for them. Because we are equal,” said Luh Made Suriwati, Deputy Head of Curriculum SLB Negeri 2 Denpasar.

COVID-19 vaccination activity at SLB Negeri 1 Denpasar

The location of the first vaccination center was held on Monday, 22 May 2023, at 09.00 WITA, which took place at SLB Negeri 1 Badung and SLB Negeri 3 Denpasar. The target for receiving the vaccine at SLB Negeri 1 Denpasar is 30 people receiving the vaccine. Meanwhile, for SLB Negeri 3 Denpasar, there were 45 vaccine recipients.

A vaccination center was also held on Tuesday, 23 May 2023, at SLB Negeri 1 Badung with YPAC Bali. At SLB Negeri 1 Badung, the target is to reach 64 people to receive the vaccine, while from YPAC Bali, the target is to get ten people to receive the vaccine. The vaccination activity starts at 08.00 WITA and until 13.00 WITA.

In implementing vaccination centers in SLB, there are also other vaccine recipients, namely teachers, school staff, parents of students, and the communities who receive vaccination information from teachers and school staff who inform them.

The hope for children with disabilities, expressed by Ni Nyoman Swastarini as the Principal of SLB Negeri 1 Badung, is never to be discouraged and not to feel like they are backward.

“Thank you for the attention of the government and teachers who understand the condition of children and friends who want to develop their interests and talents at school. So that in the future they will be able to become independent individuals to continue their lives when they grow up,” she said.

The Bali Provincial Education, Youth and Sports Office (Disdikpora), AIHSP, Save the Children Indonesia, and IDEP Foundation collaborate on public health issues regarding vaccination outcomes. Disdikpora assists in the smooth running of the COVID-19 vaccination activities regarding data on students who have yet to receive the right to be vaccinated. That collaboration becomes a new experience in achieving vaccination and wider public health.

From July to 7 May 2023, the Inclusive COVID-19 Vaccination carried out by AIHSP with Save the Children, and IDEP Foundation in Bali reached 43,836 people. Among them are 12,715 older people, 645 people with disabilities, and 2018 minority groups.

Article: Rizky Dharmawan Hidayat & Nicolaus Sulistyo

Photo: Hamzah & Rizky Dharmawan Hidayat © IDEP Foundation