Indonesia ranks third among TB high-burden nations: president

Indonesia ranks third among TB high-burden nations: president

President Joko Widodo. Antara/Desca Lidya Natalia/am

I need to remind that Indonesia is listed as the world's third-largest TB-burdened nations in terms of the number of sufferers after India and China
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo drew attention to the harrowing reality that Indonesia ranked third for the incidence of tuberculosis (TB) globally.

President Widodo made the statement at a limited meeting on the Acceleration of Tuberculosis Elimination at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, on Tuesday.

"I need to remind that Indonesia is listed as the world's third-largest TB-burdened nations in terms of the number of sufferers after India and China," the president pointed out.

The head of state cautioned that TB is one of the 10 infectious diseases that caused the maximum number of deaths in the world, surpassing the figure of HIV/AIDS annually.

Data for 2017 indicated that 165 thousand people succumbed to tuberculosis, while in 2018, some 98 thousand people died of the disease.

The head of state reminded his ranks that Indonesia had set a target of becoming free of tuberculosis by 2030.

To realize this goal, the president has called upon his ranks to undertake several efforts, including tracking TB patients.

According to the Health Ministry’s earlier estimate, merely 69 percent of the 845 thousand cases of TB in Indonesia were reported.

"This translates to the fact that some 540 thousand cases were found in the provinces," the ministry's Director for Communicable Disease Prevention and Control, Dr Wiendra Waworuntu, stated here on Tuesday.

Some 29 percent of the cases remain undetected.

"The rest of the cases still remain undetected, and we could not find them as yet. They can transmit (the disease)," she cautioned.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Indonesia had the third-largest number of TB cases in the world after India and China.

Although the medicine for TB is available at various healthcare centers, mortality rate due to the disease remains high in Indonesia, at 13 people per hour.

"Some 10 thousand public health centers (Puskesmas) and hospitals are ready with the medicine to cure TB," she pointed out.

Waworuntu attributed the high mortality rate in the country to the presence of drug-resistant TB.

The ministry has projected some 24 thousand drug-resistant TB cases and 21 thousand TB-HIV coinfection cases.

"They died not due to HIV but tuberculosis," she noted.  

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