Researchers build further links with South Sulawesi communities
A team of Australia-Indonesia Centre researchers working on health issues has travelled to parts of South Sulawesi to meet leaders and explain the value of their work.
The program leaders and researchers met with local government officials to present their research plan for collecting data on mental health, disability and maternal and child health services in the districts.
The work by the Partnership for Australia-Indonesia Research (PAIR) youth, health and welfare group will include interviews that cover around 80 percent of villages in the three districts of Maros, Barru and Pangkep.
For example, the researchers will be speaking to people in about 40 villages in the Barru district, and the team explained that the findings would be available to policy officials for their work in helping communities.
The interviews will enable a better understanding of the three health service areas as well the potential use of the village funds (known as Dana Desa) to improve the health services around mental health and disability.
The presence of the PAIR program into youth, health and welfare was seen as a positive contribution for the districts.
Doctor Rifai said that the focus of PAIR on these issues will help local governments to prepare any interventions needed to maximise health services and programs for the entire community.
Information from the Indonesian Ministry of Health’s research and development agency shows that 6.1 percent of people over the age of 15 experience depression and the province of South Sulawesi has a high prevalence of mental health disorders.
Many people with disabilities come from underprivileged backgrounds and have weak access to basic health and social services which reduces their quality of life and puts them at risk of being trapped in poverty. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the impact on people with disabilities and South Sulawesi has a large number of people who face obstacles in accessing basic services.
The research will also explore aspects of maternal and child health including looking at the indicators. South Sulawesi has made some progress in this area however further improvement is needed.
This research will take place throughout the year 2022. The PAIR research group is conducting hybrid (both online and offline) interviews with village leaders or representatives as the initial step during the second week of February-March 2022. The results of the interviews will be used as a reference for writing policy recommendations and related programs.