In July 2018, ACICIS welcomed 49 students, from nine Australian universities, to join the two-week Public Health Study Tour (PHST). ACICIS once again partnered with the Faculty of Public Health (FPH) of Universitas Indonesia (UI) as the host university. Of the 49 students that undertook the tour, 46 of them 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, 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 orientation sessions and a one-day survival class for Bahasa Indonesia at Universitas Sanata Dharma (USD) Language Center to encourage and help students to communicate and immerse with local people 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 from various speakers, such as lecturers from ACICIS partner universities and local NGOs such as Samsara and Perkumpulan Keluarga Berencana Indonesia (PKBI) Yogyakarta, with topics covering an overview of the public health system in Indonesia, dengue hemorrhagic fever and malaria, abortion, gender based violence and LGBTQ issues.
Students visited Puskesmas and Posyandu, or local community health centers, where they had the opportunity to see first hands the current issues and challenges in Indonesia and to meet locals and children from rural area. These visits were arranged by Universitas Respati Yogyakarta (UNRIYO), a partner of FPH at Universitas Indonesia. Students also visited the Code Riverside Community to learn about water sanitation management. At the Eliminate Dengue Project, students gained insight about how they minimalise the spread of dengue fever. The final field visit in Yogyakarta was to Yakkum Rehabilitation Center where the students learnt about the services available to assist people with disabilities or mental health problems.
On the final day in Yogyakarta, the students gave their presentations on the topics covered off 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 Faculty of Public Health (FPH) of Universitas Indonesia (UI). The series of seminars included topics in food safety, nutrition, communicable and non-communicable diseases, and reproductive health. The group also had the opportunity to learn from a Australian Embassy representative about roles of non-state actors in the decentralised setting.
On the second week, students visited public hospitals in Jakarta and Bogor, where they observed the programs and activities in treatment and prevention run at the hospital. Students also visited Puskesmas in Bogor and were encouraged to compare this center with the one they visited in Yogyakarta.
During the tour, students also had the option to participate on cultural field trips to Prambanan temple, Taman Mini, 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 final presentations. Students were assigned to groups with local students from FPH, and they delivered there presentations to FPH lecturers, other FPH students, and ACICIS staff. Universitas Indonesia officially closed the program, and the students attended a farewell dinner on the last day of the tour.
Congratulations to all PHST July 2018 students for being such a great group throughout the tour!