A total of 24 foreign students participated in the public health field practice held by the Faculty of Medicine, UGM. The program takes place in seven sub-districts in Kulon Progo District. The future health professionals will live with local people and engage in a variety of activities in the field of public health such as working at the local health centers and integrated health posts. The foreign students came from several universities in Germany, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Thailand and Australia.
The Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Dr. dr. Teguh Aryandono, Sp. B (K)., said that this program is a part of a summer course entitled “Interprofessional Health Care”. The prospective medical practitioners will experience rural health problems directly. "We hope that during the summer course, the students could share their experience with one another and put into practice the knowledge they gained from their university," said Teguh on Friday (23/9) at Executive Room KPTU Faculty of Medicine UGM.
According to dr. Hadianto, Sp.A., coordinator of the summer program, Kulon Progo has been chosen as the location for field activities because it has been the central of community service activities by Faculty of Medicine and would be used as a pilot for a national healthcare system. Besides, he added, the health system in Kulon Progo is considered well-managed especially since it has succesfully reduced maternal mortality and infectious diseases. "The mortality rate of mothers and children in this area is lower than the national average," he said.
As for malaria, the mortality rate is only 1 per 1,000 population, whereas before, the Menoreh Hills were known as malaria-endemic area. "It is no longer a malaria-endemic area but to reduce it further to zero would be too hard," he said.
The teaching staff of the University of Science, Malaysia, Prof. Dr. Rohana, welcomed the activities held by the Faculty of Medicine, UGM. “They (the students) were able to get the picture of what maternal health is, the eradication of tuberculosis program, malaria, and the elimination of other diseases," he said.
According to Rohana, the health care system in place in Indonesia is comprehensively implemented at local health centers to regional services. This is contrast to the one in Malaysia where the health system is focused on prevention programs. "In Malaysia prevention is more important than the treatment," she said.