Papa Sehat (Healthy Control Boards)

School age is the golden age for introducing and instilling the values of clean and healthy living behaviour (CHLB) in children. Encouraging children to adopt CHLB is a key focus of Indonesian primary schools’ activities, with the aim of reducing levels of contagious illness and increasing good nutrition. This is especially important to introduce at a young age, as many schools and homes do not have access to clean running water and lack adequate toilets and hand-washing facilities.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

Children make up over 30% of Indonesia’s total population of 240 million, and the majority complete at least primary and junior secondary school. There are more than 250,000 public, private and religious schools across all levels of education. This has led to a significant variety of different approaches in educating children about clean and healthy living behaviour (CHLB), often resulting in insufficient understanding about hygiene and, ultimately, high levels of child illness. Between 40% and 60% of Indonesian school-aged children had worms in 2005 according to data from the Ministry of Health; 23% suffered from anaemia in 2007 (Buana Foundation); and over 100,000 children die from diarrhoeal diseases every year (WHO).

In 2009, Abdul Aziz Dg. Rani, a teacher at a primary school in Takalar District, became concerned about high levels of student absenteeism due to diarrhoeal illness. He began working on a new approach on how to better support students and teachers implement CHLB activities. He realised that in order to properly learn, students needed to play active roles in CHLB activities, not just sit there and absorb information in one-way teaching sessions.

Students were tasked with creating their own Healthy Control Boards for each classroom from coloured cardboard and recycled plastic. The boards listed all the CHLB activities that students should do every day:
1. Bathing with soap and shampoo
2. Brushing teeth with toothpaste
3. Washing hands with soap in running water
4. Cleaning and trimming finger and toe nails
5. Combing hair
6. Cleaning ears and nose
7. Using clean toilets
8. Drink boiled water
9. Dress cleanly and neatly
10. Dispose of rubbish in the right place
11. Don’t eat unhealthy snacks
12. Eat breakfast
13. Guide younger siblings to live cleanly and healthily
14. Deliver hygiene and health messages to family members at home.

Each morning before class begins, students fill in the board and register whether they have completed each activity by dropping their names into the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ boxes for each activity. Overseen by a ‘Healthy General’ – a student elected to the role to guide others – students then make weekly reports to their teachers, who in turn compile monthly reports for the school to assess its progress on CHLB.

Students from the first trial school in Takalar District showed enthusiasm for the program, and health results were also positive. Prior to the introduction of the Healthy Control Boards, just seven (20%) of 35 grade 6 students at the school met CHLB criteria; after the boards, all 35 students fulfilled them. Furthermore, in an average week after the boards’ introduction, just two students (6%) experienced diarrhoea, compared to eight students (23%) prior to the program.

Innovation Description

Innovation Development

Innovation Reflections

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Year: 2009
Level of government: Local government


  • Implementation - making the innovation happen
  • Evaluation - understanding whether the innovative initiative has delivered what was needed
  • Diffusing Lessons - using what was learnt to inform other projects and understanding how the innovation can be applied in other ways

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