SPH and Siloam Hospitals Public Webinar: Health, Habit, Hope

In collaboration with Siloam Hospitals Group, SPH held a public webinar entitled Health, Habit, Hope. This webinar aims to address the current concern regarding the future school life of students with the COVID-19 pandemic. This webinar presents a number of notable experts namely, Dr. Yogi Prawira Sp.A(K) – Chief of COVID-19 Task Force, a member of the Indonesian Pediatric Society, and Pediatric Consultant in Emergency and Intensive Care Siloam Hospitals TB Simatupang, DR. Dr. Allen Widyasanto Sp.P. – Chief Pulmonologist and Leading Medical Expert in Siloam Hospitals Covid-19 Response Team as well as the Vice Dean of UPH Faculty of Medicine, and Julie McCaughan, Chief of Quality and Clinical Operations of Siloam Hospitals Group and JCI Consultant. In addition to these experts, SPH Leaders were also present during the webinar including Caroline Riady – Chief Executive Officer of Siloam Hospitals Group, Aileen Hambali – Associate Head of School SPH, and Alex Tho – SPH Infection Prevention Control Team Leader and Administrative Principal of SPH Pluit Village. Rachel Ho (SPH LV Alumni 2009) was also present as the moderator for this event.

This webinar was held as a response toward most parents’ worries and concerns regarding the current situation. About 3-4 months ago, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools to transition towards Home-based Learning. SPH has experienced a transition that was not as easy as it seems. Upon entering the “New Normal” phase, SPH continues to work on preparing any possibility of reopening the school. SPH decided to collaborate with Siloam Hospitals to evaluate the school and hold COVID-19 Infection Prevention & Control (IPC) training.

To open the webinar, Aileen Hambali, Associate Head of School SPH, explained the purpose of this webinar. About 3-4 months ago, the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to begin Home-based Learning. We experienced a transition that was not easy for teachers, their students, and parents. As we enter the “New Normal,” we continue to work on preparations for the eventual reopening of SPH. We consulted with several school partners that have reopened their campus overseas – Shanghai International School, schools from the US, Malaysia & Singapore. They were very gracious sharing their successful and challenging experiences in reopening their campuses. Finally, we made the decision to form a strategic partnership and collaboration with Siloam Hospitals Group for assistance evaluating our campuses’ health procedures & facilities and held the COVID-19 Infection Prevention & Control (IPC) training for all of our teachers & staff.

Our second speaker is Caroline Riady, Chief Executive Officer of Siloam Hospitals Group. Mrs. Riady explains how Siloam Hospitals are giving maximum effort to fight the pandemic. From the start, everything about COVID-19 is very new, “novel,” to all of us, healthcare workers around the world, and also Siloam. The COVID19 pandemic is spread by a new virus; there is still very limited knowledge on the virus globally. With the past 5 months’ experiences with COVID19, and based on decades of managing Infection Prevention and Protocols (IPC) in healthcare facilities, Siloam is able to share valuable knowledge with the general public. Siloam is conducting consultations for multiple corporations and entities in different settings about IPC, including SPH. The development of COVID-19 in Indonesia is not good at present; however, we are hopeful that our country will be spared the experiences of countries like Italy, for instance. Some factors contributing to that have helped slow the spread in Indonesia could be Indonesia’s climate and weather, Indonesian’s lifestyle which involves more outdoor activities, as well as, the average age of our population which is quite young. These factors will hopefully allow us to resume activities earlier than other countries and find the balance to our lives and our livelihoods. We can’t “copy-paste” health procedures from abroad and try to apply them to our context, as we must do only what is relevant for Indonesia and SPH’s unique situation.

we have to be able to educate the whole community. Aside from conducting “Training of Trainers”, SPH also trained everyone in the community, including the office boys and other field staff. She also said that to fight this pandemic, we need to have the same understanding and perception regarding the virus. Aileen also emphasizes the importance of educating ourselves, but moreover, of educating the community.

SPH has proactively consulted with Julie McCaughan, the Chief of Quality and Clinical Operations of Siloam Hospital Group, and the key person leading the SPH and Siloam Hospitals’ strategic partnership upon the assessment of the schools’ facilities and procedures, conducting testing and holding IPC training for SPH. The SPH staff led by Julie and her staff, trained on assessing and identifying infection risks, “risk points”, that may occur in a school setting, and helped evaluate our healthcare & contact tracing procedures to prevent COVID19 and other infectious diseases from spreading at SPH. SPH’s leadership team has been busy preparing, seeking understanding, and determining solutions, for whatever risks that may occur once students return to campus. Siloam made many recommendations to SPH to minimize infection risks in our school setting and helped us evaluate the many types of activities that occur on our campuses. The extent of the Siloam and SPH collaboration includes assessing existing policies and protocols, recommended improvements to the facilities and systems to meet and accommodate our new normal: screening everyone that comes on campus, securing school’s entry points and procedures to keep our school family safe from infection risks while on campus. The school has many different areas like classrooms, libraries, laboratories, sporting facilities, canteens, and more, each of these is subject to different infection risk factors. Siloam has analyzed these potential risks and presented a finding table with thorough risk matrixes. The solutions to all risk points were provided to minimize infection risks. One such solution included the proposal to improve air circulation in indoor situations, by installing exhaust fans in classrooms and improving air conditioning systems to prevent this airborne virus to spread via recirculated air, while also opening doors and windows. Different activities in different settings have various risks, the very comprehensive and extended audit of facilities and procedures are needed to help keep students and teachers safe when they come back to campus.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a new thing for everyone and therefore, there are many hoaxes or fake news, around the internet regarding this virus. Dr. Allen suggested some tips to deal with hoaxes:

  1. Check the validity of any kind of news (read the news’ source carefully)
  2. Look for an official logo (if you are reading the news from a personal account in social media)
  3. Use a fact-checking website
  4. Refer to official, reliable, credible, and scientific sources (e.g. CDC, the government’s official website, etc.)

In addition to that, Dr. Allen also confirmed some issues regarding the transmission of the virus. She said that COVID-19 is transmitted through macro & micro-droplets, as well as through airborne transmission. To prevent this transmission from happening, Dr. Allen suggested some things:

  1. Always keep your hand clean
  2. Maintain Social Distancing
  3. Maintain your respiratory hygiene by covering the mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, dispose of those tissues immediately, and gargle with antiseptic mouthwash or povidone-iodine regularly.

Dr. Yogi Prawira also encouraged people to do these necessary measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission:

  1. Do not go outside when you feel unwell
  2. Do not go to crowded places
  3. Do not touch the outer layer of your mask
  4. Do not touch your face, eyes, nose, and mouth
  5. Do not go to a contained environment (with no air circulation)

Regarding the measure taken by SPH leaders to keep the school safe and healthy, our expatriate teachers (e.g. from the U.S) are required to do testing. In addition to that, upon their return to Indonesia, they need to be quarantined at home for 14 days.

Watch the full video of our webinar here:

Below is a recap of some questions during our Q&A session:

Q: What is the hope and expectation for the future? Is it that the virus will dwindle, is it a vaccine, herd immunity? Or something else? When will the COVID-19 vaccine be ready?
Q: What are the driving factors/parameters for SPH Leadership to decide the implementation of open, close, or hybrid policy? Could you explain more details about the steps on how to prepare to reopen the school?
Q: What do these leaders and experts think about the COVID-19 situation in Indonesia? How will the situation develop and what will be the trend? What is the estimation for COVID-19 Trends in Indonesia at present and prediction for following months/2021?
Q: How do we make sure that teachers and staff are protected if all of them are coming to school or most of them are coming?
Q: Many news reports and studies show kids can carry high loads of COVID-19 virus without being sick. Is this a concern? How will you address knowing that asymptomatic kids will transmit virus unknowingly to others and back to elders in their families?
Q: Does SPH have SOP or Policy in place for tracing in case there is a positive person identified?
Q: We’re still unclear about COVID-19 Transmission, can you share transmission through food and objects, and is COVID-19 moving on surfaces by itself/moving around on surfaces? What about airborne transmission?
Q: Right now, everyone is using a cotton/cloth mask, but the info says that cotton mask is useless against COVID-19. Should we all move to surgical masks?
Q: In your opinion, which type of mask is recommended for children to use according to their age considering long-term use in face-to-face meetings at school in a pandemic situation?
Q: Did you do testing, or are you planning to test your teachers and staff before they come to school to work or before the students come back to the classroom physically? Will SPH's ex-pats teachers be required to do a testing and 14 days quarantine upon returning?
Q: Do you mean that we need to turn off the AC in the class? How frequently should household AC (Air conditioning) be serviced? Is there any special service to have a technician to pay attention to? Will you recommend installing air purifiers, screen dividers, etc?
Q: Where can we ask for help to get trained for school?