INA-TIME 2019, Minister of Health: Overcoming Tuberculosis is not Only on Health Sector

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PROF. Dr. dr. Nila Djuwita Faried Anfasa Moeloek, SpM (K), Minister of Health of the Republic of Indonesia during her remarks at 2019 International Tuberculosis Meeting (INA-TIME). (Photo: Ulfah Mu’amarotul Hikmah)

UNAIR NEWS – Prof. Dr. dr. Nila Djuwita Faried Anfasa Moeloek, SpM (K), Minister of Health of Republic of Indonesia attended the opening of Indonesian activities on Saturday, March 4 hosted by Indonesian Society of Respirology (ISR) in collaboration with Dr. Soetomo Hospital, Faculty of Medicine (FK), Faculty of Public Health (FKM) Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR). In her remarks, Prof. Nila underlined several things that needed to be done to overco2me the problem of the high incidence of tuberculosis (TB) in Indonesia.

“Indonesia has a large TB problem. Thus, we need to think how to make TB cases go down. ” said Prof. Nila.

According to Prof. Nila, to overcome TB problem is not only can be done by health sector. But it requires collaboration across sectors, researchers and support from the community.

Research and development

Indonesia is ranked as the third highest contributor to TB in the world. According to data received by Prof. Nila, the estimated number of TB cases in Indonesia reached around 842,000 cases.

Moreover, the number of TB cases in children reached approximately 52,929 also made Prof. Nila question the effectiveness of BCG vaccine that had been given to children and the community of Indonesia.

“What about the BCG vaccine? Is it effective? Why are there still people affected ?” she said.

In addition, Indonesia also facing cases of rifampicin-resistant TB (TB RO) or Multi Drug Resistant (MDR). A condition where a person is resistant with the two most potent drugs namely, isoniazid and rifampicin.

TB RO patients should consume six types of drugs for at least nine to twenty months. Side effects received by patients are also more severe. For this reason, Prof. Nila hopes there will be a research result for TB RO patients, thus they don’t need consume the drugs so long.

Cross-sector support

The high incidence of regular TB, TB RO, TB in children, HIV TB and the presence of missing disease needs to be supported by other related sectors. In the field of education, for example, to provide knowledge, to make people aware of health, especially regarding TB in school, it needs support from Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud).

In addition, geographical and socio-cultural conditions also become obstacles for health workers to provide immunizations and treat patients. Thus, it needs support from other sectors for development and equal distribution of infrastructure and approaches to the community so they can receive health facilities and treatment in their region.

“We need to socialize to the community, make them aware of health so it is important for us to get support from other ministries,” she added.

Community support

In solving these problem, our efforts must be supported by community. The government already has a Healthy Community Movement (GERMAS) program.

According to Prof. Nila, there were many parties who know about the program, but there were still some of people who don’t know about it. Thus, program should carried out with a family approach, including in dealing with TB problems.

“When we find one TB patient, we also see his family, his social circle, to see if anyone is infected,” she said.

For this reason, Prof. Nila proposed a forum to coordinate all these things. Furthermore, there should be real implementation to overcome TB problems in Indonesia.

“Let’s think comprehensively. Not only curative but also promotive and preventive. Stay  healty and our health starts from ourselves, “she concluded. (*)


Author: Galuh Mega Kurnia

Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia

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