Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) immunization program aims to curb cases of pneumonia and stunting in Indonesia, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin stated.

"Pneumonia is an endemic infectious disease and the main cause of death in infants and children under five in the world," the minister noted in a press release received here on Tuesday.

In Indonesia, cases of death due to pneumonia reached around 14.5 percent, and five percent of the deaths are experienced by children under the age of five on a yearly basis.

According to Sadikin, provision of the PCV vaccine is crucial, as it has been proven to drastically reduce pneumonia.

The Ministry of Health has launched a nationwide PVC immunization program from the Talang Jambe community health center (Puskesmas), Palembang City, South Sumatra Province, on Monday, September 12, 2022.

"Hence, with determination, starting in 2022, PCV immunization is carried out across Indonesia," he remarked.

The minister is optimistic that PCV immunization would not only reduce morbidity and mortality due to pneumonia but also prevent stunting in children.

He noted that pneumonia not only causes inflammation of the lungs but also interferes with the nutrition of the sufferer.

"This infection causes many children under five to have their nutritional health disturbed, which causes stunting," he explained.

He remarked that the disease can be treated if diagnosed early and can be prevented with immunization.

"This is proven in countries where PCV immunization is part of the routine immunization program," he pointed out.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that PCV be included in the routine immunization program for children worldwide.

PCV immunization provides effective protection for infants and children against pneumonia caused by pneumococcal infection.

The Ministry of Health is committed to protecting all Indonesian children from the threat of pneumonia through the provision of PCV immunization that has been conducted in stages starting in 2017.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Raka Adji
Editor: Sri Haryati
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