"TB test and medical treatment for patients are free of charge at general hospitals and public healthcare centers," Wiendra Waworuntu, director of prevention and control of communicable diseases of the Ministry of Health, stated during the launch of a public service announcement video held in conjunction with World Tuberculosis Day on Thursday.
Waworuntu remarked that TB was one of the five main causes of deaths in Indonesia, and globally, some 100 thousand people died every year of the disease.
"It is estimated that there are some one million new TB carriers every year. This number is equal to the population of Bogor City in West Java, or about one patient is infected every 30 seconds," Waworuntu remarked.
She also pointed out that a single TB patient could spread the disease to 15 people annually if he or she is not treated.
"We hope there would be greater awareness among the people regarding TB and its symptoms," she added.(*)