293,000 Schools in Indonesia Do Not Have Access to Drinking Water & Sanitation

IDN-2018-Noorani-0154_0 (Photo by: UNICEF)

The Director General of Disease Prevention and Control (P2P) of the Ministry of Health, Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, said that environmental-based diseases are still a health problem, especially in schools/madrasas. Based on data from the Ministry of Health in 2022, there are 293,000 schools that do not have access to drinking water, sanitation and basic hygiene.

"Not only that, there are also many male and female toilets that are not separated in schools," said Maxi of the online Community-Based Total Sanitation Guidelines (STBM) on Wednesday, September 13, 2022.

Based on a 2018 study, it was noted that many female students never changed sanitary napkins at school due to uncomfortable reasons and students lost time to study compared to others. Whereas the availability of hygienic drinking water, cleanliness of toilets and the school environment are requirements for a clean and healthy school/madrasah environment.

This is in line with the 2015 UN mandate through sustainable goals targeted until 2030 where all Indonesian children have the right to a safe, clean and healthy school environment. "In addition, it pays special attention to girls and people with disabilities. Indonesia has implemented a community-based sanitation program to eradicate open defecation and improve a clean and healthy lifestyle," he said.

Therefore, the Ministry of Health together with the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Culture, and the Ministry of Religion initiated the STBM approach in schools or madrasas that is responsive to gender and social inclusion, as well as the integration of menstrual management. "The STBM approach is believed to be an effective and efficient approach, especially in changing the behavior of school or madrasah residents, especially hygiene practices and access to sanitation," he said.

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