Three students from the University of Indonesia’s School of Public Health (FKM UI) created a fantasy animation to increase COVID-19 awareness among children. The animation, which is a retelling of West Java folk tale “Lutung Kasarung”, was developed by Amellia, Raden Nurilma Hidayatullah and Nabila Anindya Uka Wardani under the supervision of their lecturer, Aisyah Putri Mayangsari. “We modified Lutung Kasarung’s story by telling his adventures on freeing the ‘Kopid Kingdom’ from the COVID-19 plague. Hopefully children will be more interested in learning about COVID-19 as well as processing the message through the video,” Nabila said in a statement. The animation was screened virtually during a community service program entitled “Introducing COVID-19 prevention to children through Lutung Kasarung animation”, which took place from Nov. 9 to 16 and was participated in by 725 students from SD Anyelir 1 state elementary school in Depok, West Java. Nabila also said the animation contained COVID-19 related information, such as how it was transmitted, how to detect the disease, as well as transmission prevention measures. Aside from broadcasting the animation through virtual platforms, the team also created interactive quizzes to test how well the students absorb the information, followed by a post-test to see the effectiveness of the information tools. “We hope the children can apply the information they received as well as become agents to educate their family and friends on how to prevent COVID-19,” Nabila added.

Aisyah, who is also a lecturer at FKM UI’s public behavior department, said the animation contained positive messages to educate children while also entertaining them at the same time. The latest data from the national COVID-19 task force showed that as of Nov. 16, West Java had recorded 441,182 cases of the disease, the third-highest among the country’s provinces. Aisyah went on to say that as of 2020, there were 69.32 million citizens aged 5 to 19 years old in Indonesia, which means that 26 percent of Indonesia’s population is made up of children. The data inspired the FKM UI community service team to directly promote COVID-19 preventive measures to the students. “We also observed that there were not many COVID-19 related public service announcements aimed at children, even though health education is key to reducing virus transmission,” Aisyah said. (dpk)

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