Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Health is working with the Nahdlatul Ulama executive board (PBNU) to strengthen promotive and preventive primary health programs for the community.

"It is one of our priorities, (namely) keeping our people healthy, not treating sick people," Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said at the PBNU Building here on Wednesday.

The cooperation for strengthening promotive and preventive health programs was initiated with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Health and PBNU at the PBNU Building in Jakarta on Wednesday.

The strengthening of promotive and preventive aspects of health would cover screening for cholesterol, blood sugar, hypertension, and fat levels, as well as stunting prevention.

According to Sadikin, in efforts to strengthen promotive and preventive programs, the Ministry of Health cannot work alone through community health centers (puskesmas). The efforts also need to be strengthened by empowering health services at the lowest level, such as at integrated health posts (posyandus), he added.

The minister said that PBNU, whose cadres number around 100 million nationwide, can become a strategic partner of the ministry in strengthening primary health services.

"We ask for (PBNU's) help in conveying health agendas up to the posyandu level but by using the Bulkonah NU route," he added.

Meanwhile, chairperson of the PBNU, Yahya Cholil Staquf, said that the cooperation with the Ministry of Health could be boosted through the program that PBNU has launched, namely the Maslahat Family Movement.

In addition, PBNU has also collaborated with the Ministry of Religious Affairs regarding the marriage guidance program (Bimwin). Thus, the Ministry of Health's promotive-preventive programs can be further elaborated through the Bimwin program.

"All the agendas of the Ministry of Health can be included. What's called promotive and preventive (programs) can be included in the marriage guidance (program) and (programs) related to family," he said.

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Translator: Asep Firmansyah, Raka Adji
Editor: Suharto
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