Leprosy stigma is still in society, due to the lack of knowladge about leprosy. Then, across sector which fronted by Lingkar Sosial Indonesia (Linksos) and Nguling Community Health Center (Puskesmas), Pasuruan District, forming Leprosy Awareness Socialization Team or Leprosy Cadre. What’s interesting from this team is chaired by the Nguling Village Head. So the village government be a socialization activator.
This team consists of people who have had leprosy or in Indonesia Orang yang Pernah Mengalami Kusta (OYPMK), people with disabilities, village government, and Puskesmas officer. This action is the part of OYPMK Participation Enhancement project in Inclusive Development supported by NLR, an organization that worked for world acceleration without leprosy and inclusive for people who have had leprosy and people with disabilities.
“If previously the one who struggled about leprosy was the Health Department (Dinas Kesehatan), in this case through the Puskesmas at the sub-district and village levels, then after this leprosy is our work together, involving the Village Government and the community,” said the CEO and Founder of Linksos, Kertaning Tyas in his remarks, Saturday, March 27, 2021 in the meeting room of Nguling Puskesmas, Pasuruan.
Furthermore, Ken, his familiar nickname, explained that the formation of the Leprosy Cadre is related to the Inclusive Village program, especially related to the handling of leprosy, is DesaKu or Desa Inklusif Bebas Kusta (Inclusive Village Without Leprosy in Nguling). This is in line with the Nguling Puskesmas, Bengkura Mas or Bebaskan Nguling dari Kusta, Mandiri Bersama Masyarakat (Nguling without Leprosy, Independent with Community)
“I hope that with this activity, people who have leprosy will no longer be ostracized by the surrounding community, moreover, leprosy has a cure and can be cured,” said the Nguling Village Chief, Edi Suyitno, on the same occasion. The hope is that there will also be economic empowerment for people who have had leprosy. We, from the village government, of course fully support it.
The same thing was also conveyed by Leprosy Staff of Nguling Puskesmas, Eriyanti. According to him, the support of the village government, community leaders and the surrounding environment is very important for handling the problem of leprosy.
“So with Linksos, it is hoped that OYPMK in 15 villages in Nguling sub-district will be efficient,” said Eriyanti, accompanied by Health Promotion (Promkes) Putri Firdian Anwar. This core team will work for all villages in Nguling, as well as in each village leprosy cadres will also be formed, under the auspices of the Village Government, and assisted by the Puskesmas.
At the same time, the Head of Nguling Puskesmas, dr. Eko Santoso Machfur, emphasized that synergy between the village government, Puskesmas, and the community is needed to tackle leprosy and its social impacts.
“It is hoped that this activity will be sustainable, because with the empowerment of OYPMK it will be independent and prosperous, and in protecting the Village Government, it is also hoped that leprosy cases will no longer be found in Nguling,” concluded Eko.
For information, Linksos in project with NLR has launched a Joint Commitment to Nguling Inclusive Caring for Leprosy, in collaboration with cross-stakeholder, Thursday 27 August 2020 at Pendhopo, Nguling District, Pasuruan Regency, East Java.
The commitment contains five articles which basically aim to involve the active role of people with disabilities, especially people who have had leprosy (OYPMK) in the development process.
(Cakrahayu Arnavaning Gusti)