In November-December 2018, ACICIS welcomed 54 students from eleven Australian universities to join the two-week Public Health Study Tour (PHST). ACICIS was once again pleased to be hosted by the Faculty of Public Health (FPH) at Universitas Indonesia (UI) for the PHST. Of the 54 students that undertook the tour, 48 were assisted by the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan Mobility Program. Accompanied by the PHST Tour Leader, Dr Luh Putu Lila Wulandari MPH, ACICIS Resident Director, Dr Adrian Budiman, ACICIS Deputy Resident Director, Ms Janelle May, and other ACICIS support staff, the students spent two weeks learning about the rural and urban public health issues currently facing Indonesia.
Students began their first week in Yogyakarta with an orientation session and a one-day Bahasa Indonesia survival class at the Universitas Sanata Dharma (USD) Language Center to encourage and help students to communicate with locals and immerse in the local culture during the tour. ACICIS also held a welcome dinner for the students, where they were entertained by traditional Indonesian dancing.
Students attended a series of seminars presented by various speakers, such as lecturers from ACICIS’ partner universities and local NGOs, such as Samsara, Rifka Annisa and Perkumpulan Keluarga Berencana Indonesia (PKBI) Yogyakarta. The seminars covered a variety of topics, including an overview of the public health system in Indonesia, dengue haemorrhagic fever and malaria, disaster-risk management, abortion, gender-based violence and LGBTQI issues.
Also during their time in Yogyakarta, students visited Puskesmas and Posyandu – local community health centers – where they had the opportunity to see firsthand the current issues and challenges in Indonesia and to meet locals from the rural areas. These visits were arranged by Universitas Respati Yogyakarta (UNRIYO), a partner of FPH at UI. Students also visited the Code Riverside Community to learn about water sanitation management. At the Eliminate Dengue Project, students gained insight into how the project aims to minimise the spread of dengue fever. The final field visit in Yogyakarta was to Yakkum Rehabilitation Center where the students learned about the services available to assist people with disabilities or mental health issues.
On their final day in Yogyakarta, the students gave presentations on the topics covered during the first week of the tour.
The group then traveled to Jakarta for the second week of the tour. The students were welcomed by staff at the FPH of UI. In Jakarta, the students attended a series of seminars which included topics in food safety, nutrition, communicable and non-communicable diseases, and reproductive health. The group also had the opportunity to learn from an Australian Embassy representative about the role of non-state actors in a decentralised environment.
Throughout the second week, the students visited public hospitals in Jakarta and Bogor, where they observed treatment and prevention programs run at the hospitals. Students also visited the communities around Bogor, West Java to learn about family planning and reproductive health issues.
During the tour, students also had the opportunity to participate in cultural field trips to Prambanan temple, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, and Bogor Botanical Garden. Students also had some spare time during the tour to explore Candi Borobudur, Taman Sari water castle and Malioboro Street.
The tour was wrapped up with academic presentations. Students were assigned to groups with Indonesian students from FPH, and they delivered presentations to FPH lecturers, other FPH students, and ACICIS staff. UI officially closed the program, and the students attended a farewell dinner on the last day of the tour. During the farewell dinner, the students also had the opportunity to showcase their talents in music and dance.
Congratulations to all PHST November-December 2018 students for being such a great group throughout the tour!