UGM HPU: Pandemic Accelerates Healthy Lifestyle

FK-KMK UGM. The enhancement of health literacy within the campus environment is a collective responsibility of the entire university community. This initiative is driven through the Health Promoting University (HPU) program, spearheaded by the Health Promotion Division of the ASEAN University Network (AUN).

Since July 2019, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) has been part of this effort by declaring itself an HPU to foster a healthy and well-being-focused learning environment and organizational culture.

As part of the Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) commemorating the 78th anniversary of the Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing at Universitas Gadjah Mada (FK-KMK UGM), the Health Promoting University (HPU) Working Group of FK-KMK UGM organized a National Seminar titled ‘Managing Health Promoting University in Enhancing Healthy Lifestyles Post-Pandemic’. The seminar took place in a hybrid format at the Tahir Foundation Auditorium, FK-KMK UGM (27/5)

“Generally, people do not change their lifestyles to become healthier unless there is a crisis,” remarked dr. Maria Endang Sumiwi, MPH., Director General of Public Health at the Indonesian Ministry of Health.

She noted that the pandemic significantly influenced the transformation towards healthier lifestyles among the public. This shift is also correlated with the university’s role in promoting health through its HPU initiatives.

“Health is not just about physical illness; students, who are categorized as adolescents or adults aged 15-39 years, must also consider mental health and diabetes,” she emphasized.

She added that the implementation of HPUs across all higher education institutions in Indonesia has been pursued in collaboration with the Directorate General of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia.

During the panel discussion, various HPU practitioners shared their insights, including Dr. Masdalina Azhari, Director of the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Health Centre; Dr. Nurhadi, Coordinator of HPU at UGM’s Faculty of Social and Political Sciences; Sri Sunarti, SKM., MPH., Ph.D., Chair of HPU at Universitas Muhammadiyah Kalimantan Timur; and Prof. Ira Nurmala, SKM., MPH., Ph.D., from the Airlangga Health Promoting Center.

“HPU programs are not limited to health-based educational institutions. At Fisipol, we uniquely designed a Family Wellness (Daycare) program with a co-parenting concept for the children of our community members,” explained Nurhadi.

Another unique program adopted by Universitas Muhammadiyah Kalimantan Timur is called Olah Bebaya or peer counseling.

“There are many students facing mental challenges, so we believe the role of peer support is crucial,” Sunarti stated.

Similarly, universities both domestically and internationally have been creatively developing innovative HPU programs. For instance, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Health Centre and the Airlangga Health Promoting Center emphasize physical and mental well-being through multidisciplinary collaboration.

These efforts align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Good Health and Well-being (SDG 3) and Quality Education (SDG 4). (Isroq Adi Subakti/Reporter)

News Release