Jakarta (ANTARA) - Five neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are still being detected in Indonesia, according to the Health Ministry.

"NTDs happen in all tropical places globally," Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said after the commemoration of the 2023 World NTD Day at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Of the 20 NTDs, 5 are still being detected in Indonesia: leprosy, yaws, filariasis, schistosomiasis, and rabies, he informed. Rabies has only recently been added to the World Health Organization's list, he added.

According to the ministry's data, at least 13,487 cases of active leprosy cases have been recorded since January 24, 2022, with 7,146 cases discovered recently. The ministry is aiming to eliminate all cases of leprosy by 2030.

Based on the number of leprosy cases, Indonesia ranks third in the world, after India and Brazil.

As for yaws, it is still being detected in some eastern parts of Indonesia, such as Papua and North Maluku. The ministry is targeting to resolve the cases by 2024.

It has been reported that filariasis is now considered endemic in 236 Indonesian districts and cities. The ministry is trying to treat it by providing drugs and medication.

Meanwhile, schistosomiasis is now only being reported in Poso district and Sigi, Central Sulawesi. The ministry is aiming to eliminate it by 2030.

As for rabies, 26 provinces are still recording cases of the disease, while others have none.

"It is called neglected disease because the order ranges from tens of thousands a year, not so many," the minister pointed out.

The causes of those diseases include pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, parasites, or fungi, he elaborated.

He assured that the diseases are not deadly because Indonesia has the medications, vaccines, and tools to diagnose them.

"What we must ensure is good surveillance and health protocols," he highlighted.

Some diseases spread through contact with patients or animals. To prevent the spread of diseases caused by pathogens, one can maintain distance, use masks, wash hands, conduct tracing, treatment, vaccine, and therapy.

During the commemoration of the 2023 World NTDs Day, 108 regional officials from several districts and cities were rewarded for their efforts to address cases of filariasis and yams in their respective regions.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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