Monday, 26 November 2018

UNICEF Indonesia Promotes Public-Private Partnership in Immunizing Children

By: Arie Rukmantara - Chief Field Office, 
Programme/Operation Section, Surabaya

After successfully immunizing 9 million children against Measles and Rubella in Java last year, East Java Provincial Administration and UNICEF are involved in another massive immunization campaign in East Java. The provincial administration aims to immunize 11 million children from 1 to 19-year-old against diphtheria. The drive is called Outbreak Response Immunization (ORI) against Diphtheria. Last year, the province recorded an outbreak that killed more than 10 people, mostly children.

This time the challenge gets greater. Not only the target population is getting larger, but the campaign requires the same child to be vaccinated three times throughout the year 2018. The first vaccination is sometime between February and March, the second is between June and July, the final one is ongoing: November to December.    

However, the forces behind the campaign is also getting bigger. Building up from the momentum of last year’s Measles and Rubella campaign’s success that gained full support of, among others, media company Jawa Pos Group, Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama, the East Java Council of Ulemas, University of Airlangga, this time the immunization drive is more members to join the band: Entrepreneurs Organization of Indonesia East. The organization consists 13,000 young businesspeople who employ around 3.4 million workers.

Getting more and more excited and determined, on Thursday, 15 November 2018, the Provincial Health Office of East Java, Airlangga University and UNICEF field office in Surabaya, called on everyone, including the mayors and heads of districts across the province to ensure the success of final round of Outbreak Response Immunization on Diphtheria. The first and second rounds had managed to vaccinate over 10,5 million children or 95% of the target.

The commitment was made on Thursday and was also witnessed by a well-known economist and statistician from Technology Institute of Surabaya, Mr. Kresnayana Yahya. His presentation, based on health data he gathered in the last two years, convinced the business audience that investing in child health promise high returns.

Airlangga University also appraised the Head of Trenggalek District Dr. Emil Dardak. The incoming vice governor, and his wife, a well-known artist Arumi Bachsin, played a vital role in ensuring the success of 2017 Measles and Rubella immunization. For his consistency in promoting child health Airlangga University call the vice governor elect as “Bupati Sahabat Anak”. Deputy Representative UNICEF to Indonesia, Robert Gass, handed the appreciation certificate to Dr. Emil witnessed by Head of PHO, Dr. Kohar Hari Santoso.