Press Release

1000 PRIMA Health Cadres Ready to Help the Vulnerables in Combating the Pandemic

CISDI Secretariat • 18 Jan 2023

  • CISDI deployed 1000 Kader PRIMA in 21 primary health cares (puskesmas) for a strong, responsive, and inclusive primary health care service.
  • Helping the vulnerable groups to receive COVID-19 vaccination, restoring essential health services, as well as carrying out community-based case tracking at the community level.

Around 1000 Kader PRIMA (PRIMA health cadre) have officially been ready to be deployed through the Pelepasan Seribu Kader PRIMA: Jangkau yang Tertinggal, Rangkul yang Rentan (The Deployment of 1000 Kader PRIMA: Reach the Left Behinds, Embrace the Vulnerable) ceremony on Wed (3/23) by the Center for Indonesia’s Strategic Development Initiatives (CISDI). 

They were recruited by the primary health care and the government, encouraged by CISDI, that later would be trained by CISDI through online and offline training from March 7th-18th, 2022 in each placement area as part of the Pencerah Nusantara Puskesmas Responsif- Inklusif, Masyarakat Aktif Bermakna (PN-PRIMA) program.

After the ceremony, Kader PRIMA will actively be involved in the PN-PRIMA to find and support vulnerable groups for COVID-19 vaccination, assist with the restoration of essential health services, and carry out community-level community-based case tracking.

Diah Saminarsih, Senior Advisor on Gender and Youth Affairs for WHO Director General and Founder of CISDI, stated that Indonesia needs to look up to other countries on the importance of health cadre mobility during the pandemic.

“Thailand has at least 1 million health cadres. WHO said the presence of health cadres was effective in tracking cases and recording citizen health data during a pandemic. This investment in cadres makes Thailand's primary healthcare one of the most resilient before or during the pandemic.”

Meanwhile, Indonesia faces some challenges in their essential health care service, such as decreasing prenatal care visits, monthly weighing of under five children, and interrupted regular health service. Moreover, COVID-19 vaccination is also facing some problems, especially for the vulnerable groups, that it is only done for people with ID numbers.

Thus, Kader PRIMA is expected to help puskesmas in helping people in the group to get maximum health care service. However, Diah added that we still need to work on the strategy to strengthen primary health care facilities. Currently, regional governments agreed to hold PN-PRIMA in their region is a good sign of the commitment.

“Collaboration is needed between the regional and central governments with health workers, civil society, the private sector, academia, and the media. This process is long and tiring, but it can create primary health care that is resilient and able to protect more lives,"

Edi Abdul Wahid, Program Director of CISDI, said that the local government supports Kader PRIMA in their region. Several activities, such as focus group discussions with the vulnerable groups, health workers, to government officials. 

“Bringing 1,000 health cadres who are committed to dealing with outbreaks is clearly not an easy matter, especially when it comes to prioritizing vulnerable groups in vaccinations. This can be realized because of collaboration with the government of Bekasi Regency, Bandung City, and Depok City, especially in designing and discussing programs."

Maria Dwiwati Sri Mulyani (56), the representative of Kader PRIMA admits that PN-PRIMA lets her acquire new knowledge on vaccination assistance to persuasive communication for vulnerable groups. The urge to protect her surrounding community grows bigger since she joined Kader PRIMA training.

“During my time as a cadre, I witnessed vulnerable groups of people who did not want to be vaccinated. The training from PN-PRIMA made me understand the strategy to reach those who are difficult to educate," she said.

Kader PRIMA will be on duty until September 2022. CISDI along with the Center on Child Protection and Wellbeing at Universitas Indonesia (PUSKAPA UI) will monitor the health intervention by the cadres. The Savica consulting firm provides recommendations for behavior change communication. BTPN Syariah and PT Paragon Technology and Innovation provide resource and logistical support for vaccinating vulnerable groups and empowering cadres.