Wishbone Day 2017 celebrations in Jakarta!

Wishbone Day 2017 celebrations in Jakarta!

2017 was the year Indonesia celebrated a new generation of walkers... This special report by Jo Freeman and Dr Aman Pulungan speaks to the incredible change being driven by caring doctors, committed families, generous sponsors and passionate supporters, all working together so #EVERYchild in Indonesia might enjoy life to their fullest capacity!

Celebrations for  Wishbone Day, an international day of awareness for Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), have come and gone for another year in Jakarta.

FOSTEO, the OI community in Indonesia held an eye-catching and fun event that was featured on a ‘breakfast TV show’ called Selamat Pagi Indonesia (Good Morning Indonesia) with nearly 30 minutes of live footage and interviews being broadcast. The audience appeal of the coverage was further enhanced with guest Wishbone Day (WBD) advocate, model and actress, Sandra Dewi (pictured below with FOSTEO Community members). The motto of WBD, ‘because awareness makes a difference’ highlights the value of engaging those outside the OI community who may not know how the condition affects people. Therefore, it was important that the event reached a broader audience than those directly involved and affected.

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Wishbone Day Jakarta 2017 was held on Car Free Day in order to gain additional exposure from all the regular exercisers who were able see our activities as they ran/cycled/roller-bladed past. Car Free Day is a weekly event in many Indonesian cities whereby a main road is closed off for exercising on Sunday mornings. Originally started to address pollution, Car Free Day is now an excellent opportunity to promote health and community activities to help tackle Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). Passers-by could observe a large banner above the stage and a large crowd of yellow-clad people participating in Zumba dance, original poetry readings and discussions about topics such as difficulties in accessing medication and equipment.

A special highlight of the day was the demonstration of new, affordable, child-size walkers that were constructed by Mr Jo Freeman, a young intern working with the Indonesian Paediatric Society and CLAN, thanks to support from the Australian government's New Colombo Plan. In communication with FOSTEO members ahead of Wishbone Day, Jo learned that families were keen to access affordable mobility aids for their children. After communicating with Jo Ragen and the team at Wishbone Day, Jo Freeman was able to access detailed instructions on how to build some cheap, yet safe and sturdy walkers. These new (yellow!) cost-effective walkers were an exciting development for the FOSTEO Community, with the need for mobility aids an exciting reflection of the new generation of children living with OI in Indonesia, now increasingly mobile thanks to the excellent health care and affordable essential medication now available to them.

 

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Wishbone Day 2017 was a huge success. Wishbone Day was founded with the idea that assumptions about what OI is and isn’t often create more problems than the disease itself; that OI is one of the hurdles of life which adds to the adventure; and that the lives of OI patients will be better when we – the wider community - know better. Since their inaugural founding meeting in 2012, FOSTEO has taken OI from relative obscurity in Indonesia, to a series of expertly organised community events drawing national TV coverage. Accordingly, high childhood mortality and morbidity associated with OI in Indonesia has decreased remarkable - to the extent FOSTEO is now registering an increased need for child-sized mobility aids! The OI community in Indonesia should be exceedingly proud of what they have achieved and spirited for the future.

The success of this event was due to contributions by Alumni Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LCJM Kalingga, UBAM Community Malaysia, PANASONIC, Bebelac, Prodia, Kalbe nutrisi, Frisian flag, Danone, Gracia, and all those who participated in Wishbone Day Jakarta 2017!

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