Dr. Cita Collaborates with Brazilian and Indian Researchers through WHO

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UNAIR NEWS – Dr. Cita Rosita Sigit Prakoeswa., dr., SpKK(K), FINSDV, FAADV, a doctor, a senior lecturer and a consultant of Universitas Airlangga is the only Indonesian researcher in the team developing “Guidelines for The Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention of Leprosy” by World Health Organization.

She is also an advisor for “Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy”. Dr. Cita is trusted to handle a multi-research center project on post exposure prophylaxis, a regiment given to people living with patients of leprosy in an endemic area to stop the transmission of this disease.

The pilot study conducted in Pasuruan, East Java, was over in early 2018. The research is continued by involving thousands of people in contact with leprosy in two regions, Pamekasan and Pasuruan.

International Collaboration

For this big project, Dr. Cita and her team are supported by Indonesian Ministry of Health and Health Agency of East Java and funded by Netherlands Leprosy Relief. Dr. Cita is in the Leprosy expert team of Ministry of Health.

Dr. Cita believes that to be useful for the wider community, collaboration should be carried out not only at regional or national level but also at international level. Therefore, The Netherland Leprosy Relief trusted her to collaborate with academics from two countries with the highest prevalence of leprosy in the world, Brazil and India.

This international research collaboration involves a lot of experts on leprosy such as clinicians, microbiologists, immunologists, pharmacologists, epidemiologists and also social experts. Leprosy brings a multi-dimensional problem in the community.

“Our first meeting was in 2016, followed with a meeting in 2017. Both of them were in Amsterdam. Pilot Trial was started in early 2018. We are expecting the research results of Pilot Trial from Brazil and India and then there will be a follow-up research for 5 years,” said Dr. Cita.

From 2011 to 2015, the research on subclinical phase leprosy conducted by Dr. Cita and her team involved the residents of Raas Island, Madura and Nguling, Pasuruan. It was funded by WHO and the research uses Elisa method by detecting IgM anti-PGL1.

Leprosy Eradication in Indonesia

Dr. Cita also said that there is another new method found, a rapid test using immunochromatography and filter paper detecting NDO LID 1. With a paper medium, the detection will be more practical in the field. It is in the optimization phase at the moment.

This research will bring significant impact to leprosy prevention in Indonesia. If this research successful, through Ministry of Health, it will be adopted to all endemic areas in Indonesia.

“If this research achieves successful result, it will be a program of Ministry of Health to conduct prophylaxis regiment to people in contact with leprosy, so it will accelerate elimination of leprosy in Indonesia,” said Dr. Cita who received funding from Holland and Japan for her doctoral and post-doctoral research.

Active in Research Publication and Organizations

Beside focusing on leprosy, Dr. Cita is also the Head of Allergy and Immunology Division of Dermatology and Venereology FK UNAIR / Dr. Soetomo General Hospital, Surabaya. She and her team also collaborated with Universitas Bina Nusantara (BINUS) on food technology to use probiotics for atopic dermatitis in children and adult. In 2017, the research was published in an international journal, Beneficial Microbes.

At the moment, one of her doctoral students also conducts a research in the same field. They collaborate with universities in Holland for the research using probiotic originated from Indonesia.

Dr. Cita who is trusted to be Head of Research and Development Division in RSUD Dr. Soetomo, is also the Coordinator of Research in Department of Dermatology and Venereology FK UNAIR/RSUD Dr. Soetomo. It excels on stem cell research especially on metabolite product from stem cell.

“It was from an initial research on leprosy patient with chronic ulcus and it is difficult to heal. The research is ongoing and one paper is accepted in Journal of Dermatological Treatment, “ she said.

“The research then continued to premature aging, it is similar with the formation of ulcus, the lack of growth factor. Alhamdulillah, one research is accepted in Journal of Dermatological Treatment,” explained the Secretary of UNAIR Planning and Development Board (BPP).

The research is carried on to vitamin C and E combination and will be continued to laser treatment as alternative modality beside micro needling. She also explained that all of her researches cannot be separated from the support of the Head of Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Dr. M. Yulianto Listiawan, dr, SpKK(K), FINSDV, FAADV and all professors, seniors, colleagues, and students as well as UNAIR Institute of Tropical Disease.

“Regarding my research on leprosy, I would never forget the role of my teacher, the late Prof. Dr. Indropo Agusni, dr, SpKK(K), FINSDV, FAADV, who gave me opportunity and supports. There was a great loss for the best inspiring and motivating figure, hopefully we can continue his aspiration,” she stated.

About her future dreams and hopes, she said that as doctors or researchers we shouldn’t only contribute at local and national level, but also at international level so we can bring more benefits for the society.

“As doctors, there are two most important things, all doctors must gain the best education and apply the knowledge for serving the community while also retain the honor and integrity by upholding the Hippocratic Oath.” (*)

Author: Binti Q. Masruroh

Editor: Feri Fenoria Rifa’i

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