It cannot be done exclusively, as it must be conducted inclusively.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has appealed to the public to increase awareness on air pollution since it can cause respiratory diseases, which are among the five diseases accounting for the highest spending in Indonesia.

"Educating Indonesian people to stay healthy, especially healthy from respiratory diseases is a very good attempt since prevention is better than cure," he remarked after attending the release of a documentary film on air pollution entitled SENGAL here on Thursday.

The air pollution problem cannot be addressed by the government alone, thus cooperation with all parties is required, he added.

"You cannot do this (reduce the impact of air pollution) alone; you have to do it together. It cannot be done exclusively, as it must be conducted inclusively. It cannot be implemented only as a government program, but it must be conducted as a community movement," he emphasized.

The minister said that it is important to educate the public about how air pollution can cause respiratory diseases since so many people have been hospitalized because of them.

He then lauded the efforts of ‘Bicara Udara’ -- a social organization, which has been encouraging discussions on air pollution, including by making the documentary film.

"I think there should be more films and education means like this, which can make people aware that air pollution has a very big impact on our health," he remarked.

Sadikin said that the presence of social organizations that focus on conveying public concerns over air quality in Indonesia, such as ‘Bicara Udara,’ is also highly necessary as extraordinary social capital for addressing Indonesia's health problems.

"I thank you (Bicara Udara) very much for being an example of a social organization that is concerned with air pollution issues. Hopefully, it (Bicara Udara’s efforts) can be imitated by other organizations and communities, thus all of Indonesian people can work together to overcome this problem," he added.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Uyu Liman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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