Report on Psychosocial Support for Disaster-Affected Communities in Palu

Dolo, Sigi 27 November – 1 December 2018 

A collaboration between Project HOPE and Angsamerah to provide support to disaster-affected communities in Palu have been focused on psychosocial assistance. Support was provided through community empowerment channels by approaching and providing capacity building to Integrated Service Post (Posyandu) and Integrated Services for Elderly Post (Poswindu) health cadres. These cadres or kaders are community members who voluntarily assist governmental programmes. The government already has a long history in involving community members in building a healthy society and this has become a reference and inspiration to revive community empowerment and active participation in the health sector. In the 1970s-1980s the Government of Indonesia successfully empowered and enhanced community participation in the health sector through the Primary Health Care movement (Gerakan Pembangunan Kesehatan Masyarakat Desa (PKMD). The program went up and down during the monetary crisis, but its success story had motivated the Family Welfare Education Motivators Team (Tim Penggerak PKK) in  surviving and keeping the Pos Pelayanan Terpadu (Posyandu) active and up to now 84,3% villages still have Posyandu. The success of PKMD has been revived through development and improvement of the Active and Alert Villages (Desa dan Kelurahan Siaga Aktif) program. The role of the family in developing a Health Indonesia, as stated in the Republic of Indonesia Minister of Health Decree No 39/2016 on the Guidelines on the Implementation of the Healthy Indonesia Program through the Family and the Republic of Indonesia Minister of Health Regulation No 65/2013 on the Guidelines on the Implementation and Promotion of Community Empowerment in the Health Sector.

The earthquake, tsunami and liquefaction of Palu on 28 September caused a death toll of 2.113  (Tempo.co, Oktober 2018) and 4.612 casualities, whereas 1.309 were reported missing to date and 223.751 displaced people are found in 122 points. Recovery in all sectors have been made with support from several relevant parties. The main point for the recovery process is to allow communities collaborate in rebuilding the infrastructure and social networks which was destoyed by the natural disaster. The disaster in Palu, Dongala and Sigi caused many psychological problems and emotional stress which are left untreated. Angsamerah with support of PHOPE provided this psychosocial support though family and community by strengthening the role of health volunteers and midwives in the community health center (Puskesmas). The selected Puskesmas was the one in Dolo–Sigi which had health volunteers and midwives in 11 villages. Several activities were conducted with the period of November 2018 to Januari 2019. Psychosocial support was basically provided to allow communities to recognize signs and symptoms of needing psychological support and therapy caused by anxiety and emotional disorders, including post-traumatic stress.

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