One of the focuses of the Wadah Foundation’s assistance since it was founded in 2008 has been Posyandu (Integrated Service Post) because it is in these Posyandu that people, especially those living in remote and isolated villages, get access to easy, cheap and affordable health services. Posyandu is a form of Community Resource Health Effort (UKBM) which is managed and organized from, by, for and with the community in implementing health development, in order to empower the community and make it easier for the community to obtain basic health services to accelerate the reduction in maternal mortality, babies and toddlers.
Posyandu is managed by a group of cadres who are members of the local community, both men and women who are chosen by the community itself because they are considered capable and able to work voluntarily. In these management activities a Posyandu cadre must be able to set goals, functions, benefits, organize, establish and develop Posyandu. Whereas in the case of Posyandu administration, a cadre must be skilled at running a 5-desk system consisting of registration at table one, weighing at table two, filling out the Towards Health Card (KMS) at table three, counseling at table four and health services at table five.
This time, Wadah Foundation will share the experience of assisting Posyandu in Koa Village, West Molo District. Koa Village has become a village assisted by the Wadah Foundation since the Solar Electricity program assisted by Barefoot College, India, has been run jointly with the Koa Village Government in 2013. Since 2022, the Wadah Foundation has assisted Koa Village Government officials to focus on health services, especially the district of Timor Tengah Selatan has the highest prevalence of stunting under five in Indonesia with a rate of 48.3% based on the 2021 Indonesian Nutritional Status Study (SSGI).
Koa Village has 4 Posyandu located in Fafioban, Fatuliman, Kabukolen, and Haususu with Posyandu cadres who already have the skills to manage and organize activities. However, the cadres considered that they still needed capacity building in the counseling aspect. This aspect is closely related to the ability to mobilize the community to prevent and control health problems, especially maternal and child health.
The health counseling training was attended by 7 cadres from 4 Posyandu held on 27-28 July 2023 at the Koa Village Office. During those 2 days the cadres consisting of Yohana, Orsila, Esmi, Nia, Serli, Ona, and Yance learned counseling techniques and methods, with Rita Wadu from the Kupang Koa Regional Wadah House as the facilitator. This training begins with raising the cadres’ awareness of the importance of counseling activities, how to package attractive counseling messages, conduct trials, evaluate them, and then how to adopt and use them in daily activities both at Posyandu and in the community.
Thus, it is hoped that the cadres will be able to carry out their duties and responsibilities in a more professional manner in accordance with their strategic role as executors and spearheads of public health activities.
The strategic role of Posyandu cadres referred to here includes providing health information to the community to increase their awareness and knowledge so that changes in behavior and clean and healthy lifestyles occur in women of productive age, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, babies and children under five years old. To be a good instructor, a Posyandu cadre must also master communication skills so that the extension messages delivered become more innovative and easy to understand so that they have an impact on increasingly positive behavioral changes.
The increase in counseling capacity for Posyandu cadres is also driven by the need for skilled personnel in the health sector, especially in Koa village which is quite far from health access such as hospitals, community health centers and Polindes. With limitations like these, Posyandu cadres are the parties most relied on in providing health information and act as motivators for the community to implement these health messages.
In this training, each cadre is accompanied intensely and personally, so that each understands, feels, and is able to try counseling techniques both during training and after training. In this flow, on the first day, cadres are directed to fill out a pre-test as a start to becoming aware of the needs and problems they want to address together, then building interest to foster interest in participating in training and activeness in searching for sources of information. Furthermore, cadres are trained to be able to convey information that is heart-warming and persuasive so that the recipient of the information wants to find out and felt they needed the information conveyed by the cadres. The next stage is to carry out an evaluation to see the results and benefits they obtain from the information they have received.
They also have their turn to try out specific skills in conveying information according to the direction of the facilitator in group discussions, and role play which is packaged through games, then the cadres carry out adoption, namely imitating by applying the skills they have received, with unlimited innovation.
The end result of this training is an increase in the extension skills of the cadres which is expected to have an impact on the emergence of cadres who have the potential to mobilize the community through extension techniques, so that they have the ability to formulate messages, use methods and manage extension methods to disseminate information persuasively and educate in order to improve knowledge, skills and welfare of the community.
Author: Wahyuning Dwi Ndraha
Editor: Yan Ghewa