'Believe it or not, it's Covid-19': Family Perceptions of Covid-19 in Palembang, Indonesia

Najmah, Najmah (2021) 'Believe it or not, it's Covid-19': Family Perceptions of Covid-19 in Palembang, Indonesia. Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific. ISSN 14409151

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In early 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared Covid-19 a global health pandemic. Almost all countries have been broadly affected by this disease. These impacts go far beyond health, to include broader social and economic effects. In February 2021, Indonesia reported the highest numbers of Covid-19 cases in South East Asia, with 1.29 million cases and 34,691 deaths.[1] It should be noted that these official figures should be treated with caution as there is limited Covid-19 testing in Indonesia, as well as significant health facility disparities across thirty-four provinces and over 514 cities/municipalities. Therefore, reported cases may well be underestimated. For example, at the time of writing this research, the coverage of Covid-19 tests was about 15,000 per 1 million or just over 0.01 per cent of the population. In addition, limited testing and health infrastructure disparities are also compounded by geography, as Indonesia has over 270 million people scattered over five main islands and over 17,000 smaller ones. Indonesia has issued a policy to control and prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the Government Regulation of the Republic of Indonesia, number 21 of 2020, concerning large-scale social restrictions to accelerate the handling of the Corona virus.[2] The implementation of this policy includes the area of Palembang, South Sumatra Province. Sadly, this policy has proven to be ineffective in slowing the growth of cases of Covid-19 infection. The resulting economic impact of social restrictions resulted in a slowing of Indonesia's growth rate, causing the government to relax the 'large-scale social restrictions'. As a result, the relaxation of policy may have influenced family perceptions of Covid-19.[3] Just as many governments appear to have made decisions incorporating, or even favouring economic health, over reduced death rates, preventive health behaviours and health decisions at the individual level may also be strongly influenced by perceptions of the cost and benefits of specific choices for individual and family members.[4] Godfrey Hochbaum (1958) cited in Irwin Rosenstock,[5] authored early studies regarding the role of perceptual factors as part of efforts to prevent and control illness conditions, within the Health Belief Model (HBM). The primary concept of the HBM includes perceptions of success, severity, benefits, barriers, cues to action and self-efficacy. Also, the belief that one is susceptible to a severe health problem or the sequelae of that illness or condition. Cost refers to perceived barriers that must be overcome to follow the health recommendations and includes, but is not restricted to, financial outlays. Therefore, to optimise policies aimed at behavioural change to protect individuals and community from Covid-19, messages need to successfully challenge perceived barriers, highlight benefits to conducting Covid-19 prevention, as well as targeting individuals' belief in their capacity to undertake Covid-19 prevention, as well as garnering a realistic understanding of the threat posed by Covid-19.[6] Munir Ahmad, Khadeeja Iram and Gul Jabeen also highlight the role of perceptions of Covid-19 and how they might contribute to preventative behaviours, particularly at the family level.[7] These authors note that, with complex intersected factors, family perceptions related to Covid-19 are varied. These factors include threat perception, trust, and compliance towards leadership, risk communication of Covid-19, and social norms and cultures.[8] The perception of Covid 19 may also be related to health literacy regarding the risk of Covid-19 to the general population in relation to the proliferation of social media. While social media offers many health experts the capability of conveying accurate and robust information about the hazards of Covid 19 quickly to a large-scale and dispersed audience, it also provides a platform, or even encourages others to counter expert knowledge with the spread of misinformation.[9] This research is divided into three main sections. Section One provides an overview of the Pangling Project in Palembang, South Sumatra and outlines our research methods, including our research framework, participant recruitment and data analysis. In Section Two, we provide a brief overview of Indonesia's response to Covid, followed by our results and discussions, by way of a thematic analysis, which unpacks some of the impacts of Covid and how they intersect with social media, religious views and economic pressures, within a uniquely Indonesian context.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R726.5-726.8 Medicine and disease in relation to psychology. Terminal care. Dying
R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R727-727.5 Medical personnel and the public. Physician and the public
Divisions: 10-Faculty of Public Health > 13101-Public Health Science (S2)
Depositing User: Mrs Najmah Najmah
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2023 10:50
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2023 10:50
URI: http://repository.unsri.ac.id/id/eprint/84707

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