Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Health Ministry is applying its COVID-19 control strategy to prevent cases of non-communicable diseases that are now dominating the nation.

"The strategy for non-communicable diseases is the same as for COVID-19, namely promotion, surveillance, and therapy," Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin informed during a working meeting with Commission IX of the House of Representatives (DPR) in Jakarta on Tuesday.

He said that the number of patients being treated is now starting to shift toward non-communicable diseases, in line with the transition from the pandemic to the endemic stage of COVID-19 in Indonesia.

Therefore, the ministry has started to implement a health promotion strategy at the primary health service level, such as at community health centers (puskesmas).

The activity involves health screening for 14 diseases, including stroke, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, heart disease, tuberculosis, and others, using the latest technology.

"We have run 14 screening programs at puskesmas and integrated health posts (posyandu). We use several new technologies, such as detecting cervical cancer with HPV DNA, which utilizes laboratories in Indonesia," Sadikin disclosed.

He said that screening for HPV DNA for early detection of cervical cancer is one of the newest technologies that is being expanded nationally this year.

In addition, a professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia, Tjandra Yoga Aditama, said that the death rate from non-communicable diseases (PTM) in the world is higher than from infectious diseases.

"About 74 percent of deaths in the world occur due to various non-communicable diseases. This is equivalent to 41 million people dying in the world each year due to non-communicable diseases," Aditama noted.

Of all deaths from non-communicable diseases in the world, as many as 77 percent, or around 31.4 million occurred in low- and middle-income countries, including Indonesia.

Aditama, who is also the former WHO Southeast Asia director of infectious diseases, said that every year, 17 million people across the world under the age of 70 die of non-communicable diseases, and 86 percent of them are in low- and middle-income countries.

"On the other hand, 67 percent of non-communicable diseases begin to attack humans at the age of under 40 years, and, of course, disrupt work productivity and the nation's productivity on a larger scale," he added.

He said that the main non-communicable diseases in the world, include cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes, various types of cancer, lung or chronic respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchial asthma, and diabetes.

He said cardiovascular diseases cause 17.9 million deaths a year in the world, cancer 9.3 million deaths, chronic lung disease 4.1 million deaths, and diabetes 2.0 million deaths, including kidney disease related to diabetes.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta S
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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