Jakarta (ANTARA) - Funding flexibility is needed to strengthen pandemic surveillance in Indonesia, Head of the Health Research Organization of the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) Ni Luh P. Indi Dharmasanti has said.

"One of the challenges to research on pandemic surveillance in Indonesia is funding flexibility," she said when contacted by ANTARA here on Monday.

Ideally, technical-level contingency funds should be made available so that they can be used immediately for carrying out research in response to disease outbreaks, which often emerge unexpectedly, she explained.

Another challenge to research on pandemic surveillance is related to the coordination between related parties, which still needs to be improved, she emphasized.

Meanwhile, sectoral egoism across ministries and agencies needs to be reduced, she said.

According to Dharmasanti, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided important lessons, for instance, it has revealed the gap in infrastructure and human resources (HR) that needs to be closed, such as in vaccine development.

The pandemic has also shown that in a state of urgency, Indonesia can do many things considered unimaginable earlier, including producing domestic medical device products such as ventilators, she highlighted.

"We have witnessed firsthand how the capacity and quality of (health) infrastructure have improved in recent years, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. Many laboratories with modern equipment and other facilities have been built and utilized," she said.

Moreover, the network of laboratories has become stronger in helping overcome the pandemic, she noted.

BRIN has also developed several facilities for drug and vaccine development that would prove highly beneficial in facing future challenges, she said.

Another important lesson learned from the pandemic is that the involvement and synergy of all parties, either from the health, economy, food security, safety, or the community perspective, are absolutely necessary for facing possible pandemics in the future, she added.

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Translator: Martha S, Kenzu T
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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