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Mothers lead families to play significant role in COVID-19 handling: Ministry

Jakarta Post - October 16, 2020

Jakarta – As part of the nation's efforts to tackle COVID-19, the public's change of behavior in implementing health protocols is essential, and family plays a significant part in endorsing such a change.

As soon as Indonesia found family virus clusters in August, which contributed to the nation's overall cases, the government focused on the important role of families in helping educate the public on how to curb COVID-19 transmission.

To support such a gesture, the Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry, in partnership with the Health Ministry and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), released special health protocols to guide families in doing their part.

The protocols are available on the ministry's website, berjarak.kemenpppa.go.id, as well as social media accounts.

"The coronavirus is transmitted quite fast. Each member of a family has the potential to contract and spread the virus. We need to keep promoting the '3M' protocols, because changing people's behavior to live a healthy life is not an easy task," the ministry's undersecretary for public participation, Indra Gunawan, said in a statement on Wednesday, referring to the protocols that cover mask-wearing, hand-washing and physical distancing.

"And mothers, who mostly manage the family, carry a really important role [in this campaign]," he added.

The ministry's spokeswoman, Ratna Susianawati, also stressed the significant role of mothers in the campaign, saying they were believed to be the best supervisors in families.

"Each member of the family has a role as an agent of change in implementing and educating others about health protocol in public. Meanwhile, mothers ensure the safety of their family members," she added.

The head of the Health Ministry's subdirectorate on working capacity, Rusmiyati, said mask-wearing, hand-washing and physical distancing should come in a package.

"The idea behind the protocols is to make sure we are healthy. If we're unhealthy, we are not supposed to travel. Those who are healthy and do activities outside of their homes must wear masks, bring along hand sanitizer and maintain a 1-meter distance from others.

"And when they reach home, they have to consider their family members in the house. Therefore, as stipulated in the protocols, those who have activities outside of their homes have to take showers when reaching home before interacting with their family members," she added.

Rusmiyati said that, according to the ministry's survey, the public often neglected the physical distancing rule. The survey, which involved 19,654 respondents, showed that 96.6 percent of the respondents fully understood the importance of physical distancing. Nevertheless, only 54.29 percent of the respondents complied with the rule.

Therefore, Rusmiyati further said, massive campaigns for the health protocols needed to continue. (nkn)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/10/16/mothers-lead-families-to-play-significant-role-in-covid-19-handling-ministry.html