A doctoral student from Faculty of Medicine UGM, Fitriani Mediastuti, S.Si., M.Kes., develops Adolescent SMART Program as a solution to prevent adolescent pregnancy, particularly among junior high school students.
“SMART in Indonesian stands for Healthy by Being Independent and Responsible, a school-based health promotion model. The program is initiated based on the study on the need of junior high school students, their parents, and teachers,” said Safitri during an open examination for her doctoral programme on Tuesday (7/11) at Faculty of Medicine UGM.
Fitri said this program was done by involving midwifery students. The implementation of SMART program was done by intervention step for six weeks by giving training to the students. As many as 14 midwifery students who were divided into 4 teams assisted during the intervention process and the learning in the class was conducted by a team which consisted of 3-4 midwifery students.
The material given in the class consisted of various topics, including self-esteem and self-efficacy which was delivered by psychology expert, communication with friends and parents by a counselor, as well as topic on reproduction process and the impacts of adolescent pregnancy by an obstetrician-gynecologist. These materials were given in the form of lecture, discussion, role play, game, and also film.
“Aside from giving materials at school, the midwifery students also facilitated the junior high school students for consultation regarding adolescent health through face-to-face counseling, social media, SMS, or telephone,” said Fitri who is the Head of Research and Community Service Agency in AKBIDYO Institute of Health Science.
Different from similar models that had been implemented in several schools before, SMART program emphasizes medical and psycho-social approach. The adolescents are invited to be responsible of their body and not have sexual intercourse as an effort to prevent pregnancy.
In addition, this program emphasizes on adolescents getting to know themselves, encouraging healthy living, establishing a good relationship, the choice to behave as well as planning the future.
“The result of this health promotion shows the implementation of experiential learning is an effective tool to enhance students’ academic activity as an effort to prevent pregnancy because the students become a part of their own learning process,” said Fitri.
Fitri further said the final goal of this program is reducing the risk factor and the number of adolescent pregnancy. Adolescent pregnancy has various health risks, including lightweight baby, preterm birth, as well as infant and maternal mortality. Moreover, the parents will face more severe obstacles in their life.
“The parents who are still adolescents tend to live in poverty which is characterized by slum housing, high crime rate, poor education, and limited health service,” she added.
Several policies regarding preventive efforts to address adolescent reproductive health issues, particularly at schools, have been drafted including Adolescent Care Health Service and Generation Planning Program. However, according to Fitri, those programs have yet to be maximally done at schools. Therefore, Fitri hopes the SMART Adolescent program can be sustainably conducted at schools by the support from various groups.
“In order for the program to be sustainable, it requires commitment from the school to continue the program, such as by inserting program material in the guidance and counseling subject,” said Fitri.