Introductory Remarks of the President of the Republic of Indonesia in the Limited Cabinet Meeting on the Acceleration of Tuberculosis Elimination, Tuesday, 21 July 2020 at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta
Date 23 Juli 2020
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May peace be upon us all.
Distinguished Vice President,
On today’s Limited Cabinet Meeting, we will discuss about the acceleration of tuberculosis elimination once more.
I need to remind you that Indonesia ranks third in the highest tuberculosis cases in the world, after India and China. Tuberculosis is also one of the ten infectious diseases that cause most deaths in the world. Its (death rate) per year is higher than that of HIV/AIDS.
I received the data that In Indonesia, 116,000 people died due to the disease in 2017 while in 2018 the tuberculosis caused 98,000 deaths. We also need to be aware that 75 percent of tuberculosis patients are in productive group means they are in their productive ages, around p15 to 55. Therefore, we have to determine the target to achieve tuberculosis free in 2030. To achieve this I urge to pay your attention to the following things.
As we do now, we already have a model for COVID-19 handling, which is aggressive tracking, to find where they are. The tracking for tuberculosis patients should be done at the same time along with COVID-19 tracking. We must be aware that out of 845,000 tuberculosis patients, only 562,000 of them are reported, it means those who have not been reported are still around 33 percent. Be careful.
Second, tuberculosis diagnostic and treatment services must continue until the patients recover and tuberculosis drugs must also be made available. Presidential Regulation or Ministerial Regulation must be issued immediately, if deemed necessary, to find and cure the tuberculosis. We have to copy our work on COVID-19 handling to tuberculosis handling and it became our concern to resolve this matter.
Third, disease prevention and health promotion measures to overcome tuberculosis must use multi-sectoral approaches, including in terms of infrastructure. In order to prevent transmission, houses with a high humidity level and a limited access to sunlight and those without ventilation must be repaired, especially in densely populated areas. Therefore, the measures to combat tuberculosis are not only the domain of Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Affairs but also Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing as well.
And that conclude my statement. I don’t know if this can be superimposed on COVID-19 handling group, so we can solve two things that are important for the health of our people. If it works, I think it will accelerate the (elimination) program more.
That’s all for my introduction.
Translated by: Galuh Wicaksono
Reviewed by: Lulu Wuliarti