Jakarta (ANTARA) - Deputy Health Minister Dante Saksono Harbuwono encouraged professional health organizations to ramp up the provision of Tuberculosis Preventive Treatment (TPT) service to eradicate the disease in Indonesia.

"To overcome the low coverage of TPT service, I expect all parties, including members of professional health organizations, to support and participate in disseminating information regarding the importance of TPT to members of the public," he noted in a written statement received here on Monday.

The deputy minister assessed that the TPT service is one of the crucial steps to eliminate tuberculosis in Indonesia by 2030.

Meanwhile, the aforementioned professional health organizations include the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI), the Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI), the Indonesian Pulmonologist Association (PDPI), the Indonesian Internist Association (PAPDI), as well as the Indonesian Radiologist Association (PDSRI).

According to the World Health Organization's (WHO’s) Global Tuberculosis Report 2021, Indonesia is the country with the third-highest tuberculosis burden.

The number of new tuberculosis cases in 2020 was estimated to have reached 824 thousand, with 93 thousand deaths -- equivalent to 11 fatalities per hour.

Furthermore, it was found out that some people infected with the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria did not experience any symptoms of the disease. The condition is known as latent tuberculosis infection (ILTB).

ILTB is a condition wherein the immune system of an infected person cannot completely eliminate the bacteria from the body. However, the system is able to control growth of the bacteria, so the person does not show any symptoms of the disease.

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People with the condition, especially those in the vulnerable groups, must be offered the TPT service to prevent the infection from turning into a disease.

The aforementioned vulnerable groups comprise people living with tuberculosis patients in the same house, or household contacts, and those living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (PLHIV).

According to the Health Ministry’s data in 2021, the coverage of TPT service for PLHIV only reached five percent, while the TPT service coverage for household contacts was only 0.2 percent.

The achievement is far from the national TPT service coverage target, which is 40 percent for PLHIV and 29 percent for household contacts.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Uyu Liman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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