Advocacy according to John Hopkins is an activity to influence public policy through various forms of persuasive communication. In the field of health, the term advocacy has been used in WHO public health programs since 1984 as one of the global strategies for Health Education and Promotion. Advocacy has been established by WHO as one of the strategies in realizing the vision and mission of Health Promotion effectively in addition to the social support and empowerment strategy. Advocacy is defined as an effort to approach others who are considered to have an influence on the success of a program or activity. Therefore, the targets of advocacy are leaders or policy makers in both government and private institutions. (digilib.unila.ac.id)
In the health context, advocacy on health policy is the act of influencing / supporting something related to public policies such as health regulations and government policies. In policy advocacy, efforts are made to remind the government to always be consistent and responsible for protecting and prospering its citizens on health issues. Advocacy activities are also carried out in an effort to improve or change public policy and to push for social change gradually through a series of changes in public policy. (kebijakankesehatanindonesia.net)
Since 1974, UPKM / CD Bethesda YAKKUM has been conducting primary health services for communities in almost all parts of Eastern Indonesia, the Special Region of Yogyakarta, Central Java and the State of Timor Leste. During the process of primary health care activities, advocacy activities for health policy become an inseparable part and become one of the strategies in achieving indicators of each program carried out in the intervention area. Some of the activities carried out by UPKM / CD Bethesda YAKKUM include advocating for local governments to provide budget support in health programs to the community. Budget support from the Regional Government is needed so that the quality of the health program increases from year to year by actively involving the role of the general public so that the achievements of the activities are increased.
Advocacy is also carried out to local governments to support disease prevention programs that require cross-sectoral involvement, including maternal and child health programs, handling infectious diseases such as HIV & AIDS, TB, malaria, environmental health (access to clean water and healthy sanitation), non-communicable disease management and mental health. Advocacy activities are carried out so that the Regional Government issues policies that support the synergy of the program with local government organizations (OPD) in addition to the Health Office. With the policy of the Regional Government, it is hoped that more OPD will be involved in disease management programs in accordance with their main tasks and functions.
In addition advocacy was also carried out in several other activities that needed support from policy makers, including proposals for changes to health-related policies that were no longer relevant to current conditions, handling cases of stigma and discrimination and improving the quality of health services that were friendly to all levels of society including marginalized groups.