Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Health Ministry is preparing a quarantine regulation for tuberculosis (TB) patients to break the disease's chain of transmission to people around the patients.

"Referring to the results of the government's meeting, the idea to start TB quarantine is also aimed at ensuring that the patients are diligently taking medicine started from two weeks to two months," the ministry's head of communication and public service bureau, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, stated on Thursday.

According to Tarmizi, the government had initiated the provision of facilities for active TB patients to ensure regular intake of drugs and balanced nutrition.

The form of the quarantine facility being prepared refers to the TB Sanatorium that had operated in Indonesia during the Dutch East Indies era, she noted.

"Later, we will build a quarantine facility, which could take the form of a hospital. We used to have a TB Sanatorium, which was mandatory for six months for TB patients," Tarmizi remarked.

However, she noted that the ministry has not determined whether the quarantine facilities are mandatory or optional.

Indubitably, the main objective of providing quarantine facilities is to prevent the Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection that causes TB from spreading to the patient's family, she remarked.

Tarmizi said people living with TB need to ensure consistent intake of strong drugs. Taking regular medication for two weeks to two months can help to control the disease.

Moreover, she stated that people from the low socioeconomic bracket were generally found to suffer from TB, and due to their financial limitations, they were unable to have a balanced nutritional intake.

"For example, there are people who take medicine for two weeks or two months and have to go to a health facility that is far from their home. Sometimes, their company does not give permission to go back and forth to the health facility. Therefore, we will facilitate the quarantine," Tarmizi remarked.

Tarmizi noted that the technical quarantine for TB patients will be similar to the provision of COVID-19 quarantine during the pandemic.

The ministry reported that over 700 thousand TB cases had been detected in 2022. This figure was the highest since a national priority program for handling TB was put in place.

Indonesia has the second-highest incidence of TB in the world after India, with 969 thousand cases and 93 thousand deaths per year, or the equivalent of 11 deaths per hour.

Based on the Global TB Report in 2022, the highest number of TB cases in the world is in the productive age group, especially those in the age bracket of 25-34 years. In Indonesia, the highest number of TB cases is also in the productive age group, in the range of 45 to 54 years.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta S
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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