UNAIR NEWS – For the next few years, Indonesia could be on the verge of an epidemic. If there are no specific policies and controls for non-communicable diseases (PTM), this happens because chronic diseases are increasing every year in Indonesia. One of the examples of the prevalence of smoking among teenagers is increased by 26%.
The government focuses on seven strategic areas including regulation, supervision, early detection of risk factors, information, education and communication, improving case management, increasing community participation and replicating PTM program in the past decade. However, most of the existing programs are not comprehensive, and their implementation is often sectoral in nature.
Departing from this phenomenon, Lecturer in the Faculty of Public Health (FKM) Susy Katikana Sebayang S.P., M.Si., Ph.D. provide assessments and discussions about policies and actions needed for the country. It includes comprehensive efforts to reduce tobacco use and unhealthy eating patterns, redirect the health system for better prevention and control of PTM, and research promotion related to PTM.
“The policy steps that Indonesia can take is related to drinks and healthy food. It can be in the form of promotion and subsidization of healthy food, unhealthy food tax, obligation to include food composition, label and restriction for advertising of unhealthy food on television or social media, ” explained Susy.
A comprehensive health system is needed, from primary care to tertiary care in preventing and controlling PTM. Therefore Indonesia needs to institutionalize early screening for PTM risk factors such as obesity, hypertension and high cholesterol, such as in Malaysia and Thailand. Research related to PTM in Indonesia must also be improved.
She emphasized that further research on social factors of PTM, integration of routine PTM supervision to national health information system, the cost-effectiveness of food interventions, measures of tobacco control and improvement of the health system response to PTM are needed. Although PTM for 67% of deaths in developing countries, only 1% of global health funding is provided to address PTM. Therefore the priority of PTM research funding is needed.
“National and regional governments need to immediately design programs and make comprehensive policies to prevent and overcome the burden of PTM, “she concluded.
Author: Dian Putri Apriliani
Editor: Nuri Hermawan