2022/12/02 【Asia Pacific Health Promotion Capacity Building Workshop Review Article 】01

Author | Mohammad Ainul Maruf
Personal Information:
  • Year of participation
  • Institution
          Indonesian Public Health Association (IPHA) - South Tangerang City Board
          University of Muhammadiyah Jakarta
          Taipei Medical University

Based on your professional experience, please reflect and elaborate on the field of health promotion across academics and practice.

The role of social media in health promotion during COVID-19 pandemic
In-person health education and promotion initiatives have been limited by the spread of COVID-19, thus social media platforms have assumed a greater role. As an education and health promoter, I also had to adapt to this situation. I joined the Asia Pacific Health Promotion Capacity Building Workshop conducted by APACPH CCHP in 2020 which later became a provision for me to develop a health promotion program for the Indonesian Public Health Association (IPHA) – South Tangerang City Board, a professional organization where I am the Head of Public Relations and Media. The lessons of the workshop include program planning, implementation and evaluation principle; partnership building principle; diversity and inclusiveness principle and also communication and report writing. 

What I learned in the workshop inspired and guided what my team and I could then do in our organization, namely social media utilization for health education and health promotion. Steps in project planning include identifying the problems or issues, determining priorities, analyzing selected issue to be tackled, identifying resources and constraints, identifying alternative strategies, and then setting program goals, objectives and activities. Our team set several topics to be included in our social media contents: COVID-19 vaccination, nutritional intake during COVID-19 pandemic, mental health during COVID-19 pandemic, and mask waste. During developing project planning, the way to monitor and evaluate the program also need to be considered. We did it by monitoring the engagement of our social media and see how our followers respond.

Building partnership to protect the health of population is needed when we are going and running our project. Our board itself actually consists of health professionals from different institutional background. Those who work at universities would send information about our social media project to their colleagues and students, while those who work in healthcare services would also disseminate information in their institution. Our speakers were also diverse; there were academicians, practitioners, and even college students. We tried to build the partnership with our potential partners, learning from existing or similar programs and assessing how effective they are. Diversity, inclusion and inclusiveness were playing an important role in the success of our program. 

Communication is necessary prerequisite for learning and learning is prerequisite for change. As an empowerment tool, communication must enhance the ability of listeners to obtain information and filter misinformation. The message that we developed follow the key principles of messaging which include trust, accuracy, transparency, authenticity, consistency and visibility. Thus, the main purpose of health communication to informing, influencing and motivating individual, institutional and public audiences about important health issues can be achieved. Conducting health education through social media requires technological competence. I experienced learning by doing to be able to master this competence. The results of our analysis of the use of social media for health promotion are currently under review and are planned to be published in our journal (J-MESTAHAT) in September 2022.

The importance of improving health literacy among young generation
Health literacy and digital health literacy play an essential role in overcoming health problems in society. Students, especially those taking public health education, are expected to have adequate health literacy and digital health literacy. Based on a preliminary survey of health literacy and digital health literacy among University of Muhammadiyah Jakarta Faculty of Public Health juniors (third-year students) in June 2022, it was found that only 19.6% of respondents stated that it was "easy" to assess the truth of the information about COVID-19 on the internet. As a public health lecturer, my team and I are going to conduct a student empowerment project in September 2022 which aims to empower students in order to increase their health literacy and digital health literacy related to COVID-19. The type of activity is a one-day online training where the participants will be provided with the latest information about COVID-19, the importance of health literacy, and how to select and sort information about COVID-19 circulating on the internet. The participants will have their literacy level measured before the training starts (pre-test) and after the training is finished (post-test). The project’s outcomes are designed to improve the participants’ literacy levels by seeing an increase in the scores after compared to before participating in the training. It is also intended that this initiative would serve as a successful (lesson learned) model for digital health literacy enhancement programs among young people in Indonesia.

We receive funding for this project plan from University of Muhammadiyah Jakarta. We will cooperate with a student organization called SEMESTA. We are currently in the preparation stage: writing a training module and presentation, reviewing pre-test and post test questions, preparing ethical review documents, and preparing other technical details. We are a 6-people team consisting of 3 lecturers (2 from Faculty of Public Health and 1 from Faculty of Medicine and Health), 2 students (from Faculty of Public Health), and an IT support. I served as a team coordinator. We expect to reach out 100 participants from the Faculty of Public Health and beyond. If this project goes well, we hope to expand this project to every faculty in our university and even other universities by cooperating with other academician groups or health professional organizations. The health challenge ahead may not be COVID-19 anymore, so we will also consider adapting the topic to the latest health issues in the future.
What are your suggestions or expectations for the next exchange of the 
Strengthen the network by creating an information sharing platform
The existing workshop needs to be maintained because it is alreadyexcellent. Therefore, I only suggest on how our network can be
strengthened by creating an information sharing platform. The platform can be in the forms of mailing list (email), Facebook group, Line group, or Telegram group. The information shared includes information on health promotion related programs and how to take part on them, the lesson learned of the latest projects conducted by network members, and information about sponsor or funding sources for new projects or projects that will be developed further. I believe, through sharing platform, this network can be stronger and provide greater benefits to each other.