Jakarta (ANTARA) - Strengthening education on monkeypox is essential in order to improve the community's understanding of the infectious disease, health expert Prof. Tjandra Yoga Aditama has said.

"Strengthening education is crucial so that the community understands and takes an active role with the government to take preventive measures jointly," he said when contacted here on Friday.

Aditama, former director of infectious diseases at the World Health Organization (WHO) South-East Asia, who is currently a professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Indonesia, said that education and dissemination of information must be carried out in line with the strengthening of the surveillance system against monkeypox.

"So far, dissemination and education efforts have run well but, of course, need to be improved in line with efforts to strengthen surveillance," he said.

According to him, the government's efforts to anticipate monkeypox must be appreciated.

"The government has taken quick action in preventing (the entry of) the disease that currently has spread in many countries, including in the Asian region," he said.

For example, the government is currently expanding the network of genomic sequencing research laboratories for monkeypox in ten big cities in Indonesia, he added.

"This network expansion is essential for supporting the mitigation of the spread of monkeypox," he explained.

The professor added that laboratory network expansion needs to be accompanied by quality and management improvements.

Earlier, Director General of Disease, Prevention, and Control at the Ministry of Health, Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, said that all Environmental Health Engineering Centers (BTKLs) are being utilized as monkeypox laboratories.

"They are (spread) in Medan, Palembang, Kalimantan, Banjarmasin, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Jakarta, Ambon, Manado, and Makassar," he said.

Rondonuwu noted that the utilization of BTKLs in the monkeypox virus research laboratories has increased the laboratory network, which previously had only two laboratories, namely the Primate Animal Study Center Laboratory in Bogor and the Prof. Dr. Sri Oemijati Infectious Disease Research Laboratory in Jakarta.

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Translator: Wuryanti Puspitasari, Raka Adj
Editor: Sri Haryati
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