Avian Influenza and the Workplace in Indonesia: Combating the Disease through Increased Awareness, Enhanced Information-sharing and Closer Adherence to Occupational Health and Safety Best Practices

The project aims to promote awareness on preventing the spread of Avian Influenza in the workplace and preparedness measures on occupational safety and health issues to reduce risks and impact of any outbreaks or pandemic.

Avian influenza in Indonesia and at workplaces

Up to 10 September 2008, in Indonesia, there were 137 people who were infected by avian flu virus (H5N1), of whom 112 died (fatality rate 82 percent). This makes Indonesia being the highest in the world in terms of numbers of human cases. The risk of being infected by the virus is still high, due to the fact that in Indonesia 31 provinces out of 33 provinces are endemic areas for avian flu virus in poultry, and human cases continuously happened in some provinces. As the same with general population, workers, employers and the workplace have the same risk of getting infected.

In fact, workplace can be the used as important points in promoting the raising awareness activities to prevent the spread of the avian influenza virus, because it is where people gather together and they can further continue share the information with their families.

Greatest concern about this disease is about the mutation possibility of the avian flu virus (H5N1) that allowing easy and sustainable human-to-human transmission; it will ignite the next pandemic. Experts readily agree, however, that H5N1 has demonstrated considerable pandemic potential. With the virus now endemic, the probability that this potential will be realized has increased.

Influenza pandemic is an outbreak of a new flu virus that spreads around the world. Because it is new to human, most people will not be protected (immune) from it. This pandemic will make people sick because it is very easy to spread among the human, and many may die. We do not know yet how bad the pandemic will be until it happens. Globally, WHO declare that we are now in period of pandemic alert, it means that there is no influenza pandemic now – but people can plan now to protect themselves, their families, and their businesses.

Project description

The project will focus on promoting awareness and implementation of best practices on occupational health and safety issues relating to worker’s rights and protection, aiming to help preventing the spread of avian influenza in the workplace, in both formal and informal economies and assisting SMEs in preparing their preparedness plan to protect their workers and business from influenza pandemic. Participatory, action-oriented training programmes will be developed by using already tested model.

Project strategy

  • To achieve the objective of the project, the avian influenza and the workplace project in coordination with constituent will:
  • Provide a map of informal economy and assessment on level of knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) of the workers at selected industrial areas;
  • Develop participatory and action oriented training method by using best practices in occupational safety and health relating to hygiene and sanitation measures to prevent the spread of transmissible diseases in the workplace; and
  • Strengthen tripartite constituent institutional capacity to support project implementation through their active involvement in the implementation and monitoring of training programmes.

Key partners

  • Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration
  • Indonesia Employers’ Association (Apindo)
  • Trade Unions
  • National Committee for Avian Influenza Control and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (KOMNAS FBPI)