Increasing the Prevention of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Plan Indonesia Asserts Handwashing with Soap Behavior

Jakarta, 31 March 2021 – The COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged good handwashing with soap behavior as the most important thing in preventing the spread of the virus. However, the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) noted that community’s compliance with the handwashing guidelines was only 75.38% of a total of 90,967 respondents[1].[1]This figure shows that not all people have implemented the practice of handwashing with soap, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (Plan Indonesia) in collaboration with the Directorate of Environmental Health and the Directorate of Health Promotion and Community Empowerment, the Ministry of Health, the Directorate of Madrasa Curriculum, Facilities, Institutional, and Student Affairs, the Ministry of Religion, and the Directorate of Primary Schools, Ministry of Education and Culture with support from DFAT Australia launched “Guidelines for Triggering Changes in Handwashing with Soap Behavior in School/ Madrasa and Communities” on Wednesday (31/3) online..  

This guideline aims to trigger a change in the behavior of handwashing with soap (CTPS) so that the behavior of can become a sustainable and daily habit, especially in the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Not only intended for Indonesian society in general, but also specifically for students and school members. This is important considering that schools in Indonesia have been and will be reopening. Therefore schools need proper guidance to continue to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dini Widiastuti, Executive Director of Yayasan Plan International Indonesia, stated that changing behavior needs to be continuously triggered to encourage the sustainability of the new behaviors.

“The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has raised new awareness of the importance of handwashing with soap. Although the pandemic has been ongoing for a year, not all people have implemented this practice properly. Through the socialization of this triggering guideline, we hope that the practice of handwashing with soap will be better and more sustainable, “said Dini.

drg. R. Vensya Sitohang M. Epid, Director of Environmental Health, Directorate General of Public Health, the Ministry of Health, who was present at the launching event, explained that the handwashing with soap behavior is a small behavior with a big impact.

Meanwhile, Dr. A. Umar, MA, Director of Madrasa Curriculum, Facilities, Institutional, and Student Affairs, Directorate General of Islamic Education, the Ministry of Religion, urged all of us to implement handwashing with soap, as not only it makes our hands clean, but makes everyone clean. This means that handwashing with soap is a joint effort to always live clean and healthy.

“It’s time for us to change the paradigm. Washing hands is not just washing hands but as a responsibility to protect me, you and us from spreading germs. Let’s create a clean and healthy lifestyle, “said Dra. Sri Wahyuningsih, M.Pd. Director of Primary Schools of the Directorate General of Early Childhood, Primary, and Secondary Education, of the Ministry of Education and Culture at the launch.

Meanwhile, dr. Imran Agus Nurali, Sp. KO, Director of Health Promotion and Community Empowerment of the Directorate General of Public Health, Ministry of Health, explained that we need to make handwashing with soap a behavior that is easy and simple to introduce early on and is useful for preventing various diseases including the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Guidelines for Triggering Changes in Handwashing with Soap Behavior complements the series of guidelines on the Five Pillars of Community-Based Total Sanitation (STBM) that was launched by the Ministry of Health in 2020. Where Plan Indonesia contributed to the preparation of the guidelines.

“We hope that with this guideline, the behavior of handwashing with soap will remain and become a daily behavior that can ultimately reduce the number of cases of COVID-19 and other diseases. Plan Indonesia continues to be committed to supporting changes in the behavior of the handwashing with soap among the Indonesian society, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, ” added Dini. In line with the 6th sustainable development goal (SDGs), namely sanitation for all, Plan Indonesia is committed to improving the quality of public access and participation in hygiene and sanitation. Through the Water for Women (WfW) program, Plan Indonesia has been promoting sustainable community-based total sanitation practices in East Nusa Tenggara (Manggarai Regency) and West Nusa Tenggara (Sumbawa Regency) since 2018 with the support of the Australian Government. To date, more than 535,000 people in NTT and NTB have benefited from sustainable STBM practices and live with better hygiene and sanitation.


[1] Badan Pusat Statistik, Perilaku Masyarakat Di Masa Pandemi COVID-19, September 2020