Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin called on President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to influence tuberculosis (TB) patients to stay disciplined in taking antibiotics until their treatment period concludes.

After attending a limited meeting with President Jokowi on tuberculosis, the minister remarked that the head of state's role can encourage TB patients to take medicine for at least six months to prevent antibiotic resistance.

"It is difficult for TB patients to obediently take medicine. I hope the president can influence them to take medicine diligently until the course is completed. It usually takes at least six months," Sadikin stated at the Presidential Palace Complex in Jakarta, Tuesday.

Moreover, he noted that the COVID-19 vaccination would not be successful without the president's influence as a pioneer, who received the vaccine injection first.

"We told him, 'Sir, the vaccination (program) was succeeded because you acted as an influencer who took the shot first'," he noted.

Hearing this, the minister stated that President Jokowi laughed and agreed with the request to promote discipline in TB treatment.

In addition, Sadikin remarked that President Jokowi was even willing to visit several areas to ensure that TB patients would take the medicine.

Based on the official website of the Ministry of Health, Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that has the potential to become severe and generally attacks the lungs.

TB patients, especially pulmonary TB, can emit splashes of sputum containing a bacterial infection when they talk, cough, or sneeze.

The people around the TB patient can be exposed by inhaling the droplets.

According to Sadikin, treatment for TB usually takes six months with strict drug-taking rules in order to prevent the risk of antibiotic resistance.

If antibiotic resistance occurs, TB patients must take antibiotics according to the rules for 20 months, he remarked.

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Translator: Mentari Dwi G, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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