United Methodist Committee on Relief

World Health Day, April 7: The 2010 Global Goal 1,000 Cities, 1,000 Lives

by Karolyn Chamberlin*

March 31, 2010—UMCOR Indonesia, the non-governmental organization of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, will mark World Health Day on April 7 with school health events in two Acehnese schools where the agency has presence. The Primary Schools marking this year’s World Health Day in UMCOR’s project sites are 01 Samahani in Aceh Besar District and 14 Jeunib in Bireuen District.

The health events will directly target a total of 368 schoolchildren and 37 teachers, indirectly influencing approximately 1,200 surrounding households. The events will include activities such as a film viewing on hygiene and sanitation, as well as learning a new health song, entitled, “Cha Cha. Maricha.” (Take Care of Cleanliness), an original song composed by UMCOR-NGO Health Project Officer Sri Wahyuni. The events will also include a presentation from the local health center. Health care workers will screen the schoolchildren, providing a note for those showing clear signs and symptoms of a disease to visit the health center for treatment with their parent or guardian. Smaller medical conditions will be treated at the site.

In addition, information banners will be displayed in all 17 schools involved in the new Integrated Sustainable Development in Aceh school health project targeting both the school and surrounding populations. The banners will target 2,786 schoolchildren, 279 teachers and 12,999 surrounding households of the schools. The information banner reads “Take action now to ensure a healthy today and for our future generation” in the local Indonesian language.

Since it’s a season for cough, flu and common cold, UMCOR will distribute handkerchiefs to 2,786 schoolchildren throughout the week of April 7, encouraging the proper use and care to prevent spread of lung infections and emphasize proper hand washing with the use of soap in all the 17 schools.

About World Health Day

World Health Day 2010 will focus on urbanization and health. With the campaign 1,000 cities, 1,000 lives, events to be organized globally. World Health Organization (WHO), the lead agency for World Health Day, is calling for:

  • 1,000 cities: Cities around the world are called to open up public spaces to health for one day during the week of April 7 - 11 – with activities in parks, town hall meetings, cleanup campaigns, or closing off portions of streets to motorized vehicles.
  • 1,000 lives: Citizens are asked to provide stories of urban health champions who have taken action and had a significant impact on health in their cities.

About UMCOR Indonesia

The United Methodist Committee on Relief is a not-for-profit global humanitarian aid organization, working in more than 80 countries worldwide. Our mission is to alleviate human suffering – whether caused by war, conflict, or natural disaster-- with open hearts and minds to all people.

UMCOR established its field offices in Indonesia following the December 2004 tsunami. Country operations are based in Banda Aceh with offices in Bireuen and Medan.

UMCOR Indonesia continues to help those affected by the 2004 tsunami and the 30-year conflict preceding it.

Learn more about World Health Day here, and support projects like these by giving to Indonesia Emergency, UMCOR Advance #217400Donate

*Chamberlin is the Program Coordinator for UMCOR Indonesia.