World TB Day, FKM Lecturer Highlights Problems in Indonesia

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UNAIR NEWS – Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease that is still a problem in the world, including in Indonesia. Indonesia is the second highest country with TB cases in the world after India.

Based on WHO report in 2017, there are estimated 1.02 million TB cases in Indonesia but only reported 0.42 million cases to the Ministry of Health. TB which is still an epidemic in the world is also the number one cause of death among other infectious diseases.

With these problems, World Tuberculosis Day (HTBS) in 2019 is themed globally “It’s time!”. In line with the Healthy Society Movement (Germas) through Healthy Indonesia Program with Family Approach (PIS-PK), Indonesia’s theme for the 2019 World TB Day is “It’s Time for Indonesia TBC-Free, Starts with Me” with an action movement: Find Tuberculosis Treat Until Healed (TOSS TB), early detection and prevention.

The government also highlights TB-free Indonesia program in 2030. This is also in line with Ministry of Health which targets 1 million TB screenings by the end of 2019. The program is one of the government’s efforts to eradicate TB.

Regarding World TB Day, a professor in Public Health Epidemiology at Universitas Airlangga Prof., Dr. Chatarina Umbul Wahyuni dr., M.S., M.P.H. stated that TB problem is not over yet and there are many factors for it. For example, efforts to find cases have not been maximized and there is non-compliance from people with TB to take drugs routinely. It causes resistance to the drug or commonly known as MDR.

“That factor should be quickly identified. TB case discoveries have been conducted through research and community empowerment, such as the formation of cadres and training to understand the early stages of TB. Hopefully, cadres can identify people who are suspected or at risk, ” she said.

“After being detained, exam can be done to make sure if the people was positive or negative for TB. However, problems also often come from inadequate health services, because they are correlated and sustainable, ” she added.

Prof. Dr. Chatarina also explained that a lot of research and training had been done. Such as research and empowerment by students, training on cadres, private doctors, and village midwives. However, the results are often not maximally implemented.

“Screening is very effective, especially for people at high risk such as HIV sufferers and slum communities. However, it would be better if it is done to the unexpected people such as senior citizens. Because, TB can happen to anyone, ” she added.

All elements of society must be involved in suppressing TB numbers. Not only the government, but also the social agencies. All communities can be at risk of TB. Therefore, knowledge, awareness and understanding of TB are very necessary.

“The public should not only know about TB problems. However, they also need to know the indicated symptoms, prevention, and self-awareness to check into health services. The community does not need to be afraid and embarrassed because actually TB can be completely cured,” she concluded. (*)


Author: Ulfah Mu’amarotul Hikmah

Editor: Feri Fenoria Rifa’i


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